Toshiba SCiB introduces a new 23 Ah cell

Toshiba SCiB 23 Ah battery cell

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.

 

Honda Fit EV with the new cells would get a 23 kWh battery and 94 EPA miles 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.

 

The new Honda Fit/Jazz looks great, but it burns gas

 

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…

 

The Chevrolet Bolt EV looks very like the Honda Fit. Can you see the similarities?

 

Maybe we should ask Honda if they built it 🙂

 

 

More info:

http://www.scib.jp/en/product/cell.htm

http://automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev/

https://www.facebook.com/Honda

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. The SCiB cells look great for electric busses with inductive chargers at each bus stop.

    The buses can handle the weight, and they have consistent routes and periods of bus stops. In effect, I think that the overall battery capacity on buses can still be reduced and weight will not be such an issue. Operators can save on battery capacity in the busses then.

    For cars, even with the small 12 kWh lithium titanate battery, for charging to 80% in 6 min, about 150 kW peak would be required. (80% * 12 kWh = 9.6kWh = 96 kW on average over 6 min).
    As these chargers are still uncommon, Mitsubishi has a battery in those few Japanese cars with lithium titinate battery that could be charged very quickly, but lacks the appropriate chargers to fully achieve this speed. On a 50 kW ChaDeMo charger it will still need about 12 min to get 10 kWh. With li-ti batteries with even more capacity (e.g. 20 kWh) charging power necessary for 6 min charging raises to a level that is not yet available on any public charger.

    I believe, Lithium titinate batteries are therefore better suited for applications where one has full control over the chargers and their power as well. Such as for public transport and busses.

  2. These SCiB 23 Ah LTO cells have,
    Energy density = 202 Wh/L
    Specific energy = 99 Wh/kg

    which indeed compares badly with,
    Energy density = 786 Wh/L
    Specific energy = 271 Wh/kg
    for the Panasonic NCR18650G.

    However, they do survive well across an extreme ambient temperature range [-30 to +60°C] while developing only about 10% of the internal heat generated by 18650s powering the same load, so in a car pack the complex and expensive active liquid-cooled battery thermal management system can be dispensed with.

    They can also be continuously cycled over 100% SoC approximately 3000 times, retaining >80% of original capacity, and do not experience thermal runaway even when crushed.

    Unfortunately, Toshiba’s price is currently prohibitive, thus never published, as in if you have to ask then you really can’t afford it. I estimate around $55 each, i.e. $1000/kWh, twice that of Panasonic 18650G.

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