I always associate these Toshiba SCiB cells to one of my all time favorite electric car, the Honda Fit EV. If it was still available it would get 15 % more range.
The Honda Fit EV was the car that I always thought that could challenge the Nissan Leaf if Honda wanted to. It looks better, it’s more space efficient with flat folding seats and in sport mode it’s a blast to drive. Unfortunately, in the USA it was only leased in California as a compliance car, it didn’t even had CHAdeMO for fast charging like it has in Japan.
The Honda Fit EV had a 82 EPA miles range and a 20 kWh battery made with 20 Ah SCiB cells. With the new 23 Ah cells it would get a 23 kWh battery and 94,3 EPA miles range (152 km). Probably it wouldn’t be enough for today standards, but if priced right it could had a chance.
I really like these SCiB cells, but even the new 23 Ah cells like every Lithium Titanate (LTO) cells, have poor energy density (202 Wh/L) so I don’t think that are ideal for electric cars that have limited space for batteries.
The advantages are:
- They allow very fast charging: only 6 minutes from 0 % to 80 %
- Great lifespan: after 15.000 charge/discharge cycles still retain more than 80 % of the initial capacity
Considering the advantages, they are ideal for renewable energy storage.
The only electric car still in production with SCiB cells is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, that is sold in Japan with two different batteries. One is 16 kWh made with GS Yuasa’s LEV50N cells that we get all over the world, the other is cheaper and only sold in Japan has 10,5 kWh made with Toshiba’s SCiB 20 Ah cells. If Mitsubishi decided to upgrade to 23 Ah cells, the cheaper version would get a 12 kWh battery.
Maybe it’s time for Honda to bring the Fit EV back, but with higher energy density cells like the ones produced by Panasonic, LG Chem or Samsung SDI. Considering that the Honda Fit EV had cells with a very low energy density (176 Wh/L), if the upgrade was made to cells with 700 Wh/L (Tesla Motors is already reaching 800 Wh/L) it would get a 80 kWh battery and more than 300 EPA miles range (483 km). I would be happy with half of that, 40 kWh with fast charging.
What do think? Would you be interested in an electric Honda Fit/Jazz? If the answer is yes tell Honda about it, their facebook page is a good place to start.
At the moment the closest thing we have to it is the Chevrolet Bolt EV…
Maybe we should ask Honda if they built it 🙂