Toshiba Claims Major Battery Breakthrough: 200 Miles of Range off a 6-Min Charge

Toshiba SCiB battery pack 1 photo
Photo: Toshiba
The only two things standing in the way of a wide-spread adoption of EVs are the high acquisition cost and the long recharge times. Tesla's Model 3 intends to take care of both of these issues, but it only does it to a certain degree.
With a starting price of $35,000, the Model 3 is definitely cheap for what it offers in return, but if you compare it to other premium ICE models such as the BMW 3 Series or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Besides, you really want the long-range version with a few extras, so you're looking at $45,000 or more.

As for its fast-charging capabilities, the Supercharger network and Tesla vehicles are still the best combination around, but they still can't take charging rates of over 120 kW. Several companies are talking about 350 or even 500 kW in the near future, but right now, that's the best you can get.

Toshiba claims it may have found a solution for this with the latest variant of its SCiB battery first launched in 2008. The Japanese company says its prototype can receive the energy equivalent needed for 200 miles (320 km) of range on an electric vehicle in just six minutes.

“The new battery also offers high energy density and ultra-rapid recharging characteristics, and its titanium niobium oxide anode is much less likely to experience lithium metal deposition during ultra-rapid recharging or recharging in cold conditions — a cause of battery degradation and internal short-circuiting.”

The 50 Ah DIY-looking prototype pack (pictured) built by the company is said to have come out of 5,000 charge/discharge cycles with 90 percent of its initial capacity intact, which is a better result than what most Li-Ion batteries get these days. Toshiba says it plans to bring the new battery to market in 2019, presumably using the remaining time to iron out any remaining problems.

There have been plenty of revolutionary claims surrounding battery performance in the past few years, so it's hard to tell which is real and which is artificial hype, especially since the cards are kept very close to the chest ahead of the eventual market launch (for obvious reasons, given how competitive this segment has become). Still, Toshiba isn't a startup but a respected name in the business, so even though it might be exaggerating a bit, we expect it to deliver.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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