Toshiba Claims To Achieve Breakthrough In Ultra Fast-Charge Battery

JUL 8 2018 BY MARK KANE 64

Researchers at Toshiba continue development on next-generation SCiB lithium-ion batteries, which could replace the current LTO chemistry used in ultra-fast charging applications (in 5-15 minutes).

According to an article in the Journal of Power Sources, the new titanium niobium oxideTiNb2O7 (TNO) composite anode consisting of micro-size spherical TNO secondary particles coated with carbon, combined with standard NCM, is very promising.

The prototype TNO/NCM cell (49 Ah) doubled the volumetric density of LTO, while still maintaining the ultra-fast charging capability and long cycle-life.

Here are some numbers:

  • 49 Ah capacity
  • 350 Wh/L volumetric energy density
  • high input-power density of 10 kW/L for 10 s at 50% state of charge (SOC)
  • 0% to 90% SOC in less than 6 min
  • capacity retention at 7000 cycles was 86% by full charge-discharge cycling at 1C rate
  • cycle-life was predicted to be 14000 cycles

There is no data on gravimetric energy density Wh/kg, but we wouldn’t expect anything on par with high energy density cells for long-range BEVs.

At 350 Wh/L TNO, is still far behind, although in all application with ultra-fast charging like some electric buses, it could represent a major improvement.

“Electrochemical properties of TiNb2O7 (TNO) electrodes during lithium storage have been studied in order to develop an alternative anode with high-capacity, fast-charging, and long-life to Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) in lithium-ion batteries. High-density TNO (HD-TNO) composite electrode consisting of micro-size spherical TNO secondary particles coated with carbon exhibited high-rate capability, long cycle-life, and a high volumetric capacity of more than twice that of LTO composite anodes. Large-size lithium-ion batteries using the HD-TNO anode and a LiNi0.6Co0.2Mn0.2O2 (NCM) cathode with a capacity of 49 A h were fabricated for automotive applications, and were found to have a high energy density of 350 W h L−1, a high input-power density of 10 kW L−1 for 10 s at 50% state of charge (SOC), and fast-charging from 0% to 90% SOC in less than 6 min. The capacity retention at 7000 cycles was 86% by full charge-discharge cycling at 1C rate. Cycle life was predicted to be 14000 cycles at 80% capacity retention. It was demonstrated that the TNO/NCM batteries have high energy-density, fast-charging, and long cycle-life for automotive applications such as electric vehicles with long driving ranges by fast-charging.”

Source: High-energy, fast-charging, long-life lithium-ion batteries using TiNb2O7 anodes for automotive applications via Green Car Congress

Categories: Battery Tech

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64 Comments on "Toshiba Claims To Achieve Breakthrough In Ultra Fast-Charge Battery"

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14,000 cycles at 300 mi/charge is like 4.2 million miles. Lifetime batteries. I imagine it is a lot less cycling near 100%, but still probably 1,000,000 miles.

Considering the low density, 300 miles/charge is unrealistic. But even at 150 or so, it should easily outlive the rest of the vehicle…

So, at 350 Wh/Litre, How many Litres to provide 100 kWh?
(0.35 kWh/L; Equals 285.7143 Litres of Space)

Still waiting for the “big battery breakthrough” that random companies announce 2-3 times every year. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely can’t wait for it to inevitably happen, I just tire of announcements before a product is even viable.

Labs announce findings pointing in a direction, we make faster progress that way.

I hope you’re right, I’m pulling for the next battery breakthrough. Personally, I believe we’re gonna see it sooner than later, and my gut says Tesla already has an ace up their sleeve that they ain’t sharing (yet). Either way, companies are starting to wake up to the potential market in battery storage/tech, and they’re no doubt working like farm animals to get it done.

Sinse Tesla doesn’t design cells it would be what Panasonic is developing.

While I don’t know the details of the arrangement, Tesla develops the cells together with Panasonic. Point in case, Jeff Dahn has a research cooperation with Tesla, not Panasonic…


Panasonic make the cells to Tesla’s specification and Tesla own the copyrights too. Otherwise everybody would be buying their cells from Panasonic as Tesla cells are still the best in automotive use.

Tesla absolutely R&Ds cells. The 2170 is theirs. In addition, the cell production is in partnership with Panasonic. In fact, they both own GF1 and 2.

OTOH, the 18650 that MS/X use, is purely Panasonics. IOW, Tesla is a customer, not a partner on that product.

The thing about the big battery break through is that it has already happened multiple times in fact.
Seriously look at the capacity and price of batteries ten years ago compared to now.
If you released all that progress in one step after ten years of research it would have been considered a massive break through, but given it happened relateivly slowly over same time period almost nobody noticed…

Who says it’s not viable? When originally announced, Toshiba claimed it will come in fiscal year 2019… Such a specific claim from an established maker means they must have it pretty much worked out, not just some early research.

Many of the breakthroughs go silently into production. They just don’t call you.

My dad would call me..

If only they could have used this to triple the range of the Mitsubishi i-miev it and give it a ten minute recharge time it would have become a very competent EV.

It’s heavier and more expensive than the mainstream battery chemistries, though — so I doubt the ultra-fast charging is a good trade-off outside some very specific applications.

Yes, buses and delivery trucks could benefit from fast charge, they can handle the size and weight.

From article: “capacity retention at 7000 cycles was 86% by full charge-discharge cycling at 1C rate”

Why state the 1C stat if the primary benefit of this battery is ultra rapid charge?

Show the 3C or higher stat.

Perhaps reason is like most magical batteries rapid charging (past 2C) is possible but at cost of greatly degrading the battery life.

Specifying the cycle life at 1C is industry standard, to make it comparable between different cells.

Note that if temperature can be kept at bay (which shouldn’t be a problem with this chemistry AIUI), faster charging to the same cut-off voltage actually tends to cause *less* degradation…

A Standard – gives a Fair comparison, but limited info. People Get that Figured out better – when they do Lead Acid to LiFePO4 Comparisons – like these two old comparisons I made and posted for anyone to see – back in 2009 & 2011 (3 & 5 years or so after I got my First EV – a Conversion, and before the Model S first Delivered!): [Lead Acid Batteries = PbA] ——————— “Lead Acid Batteries are commonly chosen for use in Electric Vehicles because of their readily available sources, relatively low cost, and considered abuse tolerance. Let us examine those issues – using data from manufactures of various Lead Acid Batteries.” 1st: Final Points in 1st Report: “Lifetime Energy Delivery: Using the ThunderSky 80% DOD Cycle Life Figures shows that 32 Ah (40 Ah X 80%) multiplied by 3,000 Cycles = 96,000 Ah, and for the 4-Cell Pack at a 0.5C (20 Amp) discharge voltage of 13.2V with the cycle life of 80% DOD X 3000 Cycles = 1,267,200 Watt Hours Delivered over it’s life. However – Dropping back to just a 70% DOD Cycle for the pack changes the total energy output by another 45% at… Read more »

@Robert Weekley said:”… Point is – only having the single 1C Rate, only tells part of the Story! “

@Robert Weekley,
Wow… thanks for that very detailed explanation supporting my comment that stats on higher charge C values should also be provided in addition to standard baseline C1… especially when ultra rapid charge is what is being advertised. What you said is exactly on point.

Sure, a full datasheet should contain some extra data points for different C-rates and/or temperatures… But we are not talking about a full datasheet here 🙂

For their Classic Cells – They have High Power – that can do 10C, or High Energy that can do 3C:


A Step Closer, This is great News!

I think this is already obsolete.
All the buzz around solid electrolytes. And with solid electrolytes you can dump anything other than lithium from the anode. Rendering this pointless.

First of all, it should reach actual mass production way sooner than lithium metal anodes — so it’s *not* obsolete.

Also, the biggest problem with commercialising lithium metal anodes is short cycle life — which is the exact opposite of TNO (or the related LTO).

Since it’s pure lithium I doubt there is any degradation. It’s the graphite/etc anode that degrades in Li-ion batteries. Metallic lithium is just fully transferred through the electrolyte and is reformed on charging. How would that degrade?

Dendrites. SolidEnergy claims 200 cycles. I think that’s at 0.1C or something.

Solid electrolytes physically prevent dendrite formation. So that can’t be right.

“Solid electrolytes with smoother surfaces COULD stop dendrites”

The holy grail of solid state

1. Dendrites were never a from of capacity erosion. But an issue of failure, by causing a short circuit as it connected the anode and cathode.
2. Dendrites can’t form through a solid barriers, so this is wholly solved, and that’s that.

Um, no, it’s not the anode that degrades the most in traditional Li-Ion cells. There are various parasitic reactions; but those at the anode mostly die down after a few dozen cycles, when a stable solid-electrolyte interface (SEI) is formed. (At least with pure graphite anodes. Silicon makes this more tricky due to mechanical degradation, which is why it’s only used in small amounts so far.) The reactions at the cathode are much more problematic in traditional Li-Ion cells, since no stable SEI forms there, and the parasitic reactions just keep going on, resulting in progressive capacity degradation. For lithium metal anodes — as others already pointed out — the big challenge is dendrite formation at the anode. Solid state electrolytes are one approach at curbing these; but they do not solve the issue completely, magically causing the lithium to be plated in a perfectly smooth layer… I’m not familiar with the specific degradation mechanisms at play here: but I do know that one major issue with solid state batteries is keeping a reliable contact between the solid electrolyte, and an electrode that is changing size and shape as lithium is repeatedly plated/removed from it… Can’t give you a specific… Read more »

It’s hard to get cost info on SCiB, but they seem great for electric buses and other fleet card that need frequent fast charging (multiple full cycles per day). Robotaxis might be another good market.

Consumer cars that sell on long range and only see the equivalent of one full cycle per week are a bad match.

Nothing major here. SCiB has been used by Toshiba in e-bicycles and BEV cars for over a decade. The fast charging times are great for something like an EV bus application where you want of range added during a brief 1-2min stop, but weight density isn’t sufficient for replacing other chemistries in smaller vehicles.

Longer life makes them attractive for grid storage. Weight doesn’t matter if the battery isn’t moving but battery life does. Utilities like things to last for 50 years or longer, these won’t last that long but any significant improvement over current lithium ion batteries will be greatly appreciated by electric companies.

I don’t think something like this is viable for utility applications. Flow batteries and such are typically tried. Or the “saltwater battery” by Aquion which is made of cheap common elements.

Flow batteries make sense for long-duration applications — in the days, weeks, or months ranges. For shorter duration batteries (up to about six hours), used for grid services and load shifting, Li-Ion seems unbeatable on price right now.

BTW, while there are some promising existing and potential future chemistries for flow batteries, the “saltwater battery” didn’t make it, since with such a low density, logistics make it hard to compete with higher density chemistries even when the materials are cheap…

I don’t see any reason why couldn’t flow battery be used for short term storage also

That puzzles me, too. I’ve read that flow batteries aren’t used much because of limited power, but this is the first I’ve read of any claim that they’re not suitable for storing or supplying power for 6 hours or less.

Flow batteries have pumps and maintenance costs. For now, it makes them uneconomical for small installations. This may eventually change, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Maybe Response Rate? Power Ramp up time of the systems that ‘Flow’ the contents? Electric Motor Driven Pumps may be fast, but not in the Millisecond Rate, I suspect!

Shouldn’t be too much of a problem I think: the pump is only needed to replace “depleted” anolyte/catholyte with “fresh” supply; but on a sudden load change, there should still be enough “fresh” supply in contact with the electrodes, before it is “used up” and needs to be replaced…

The major advantage of flow batteries is that their cost is mostly affected only by the power capacity (which dictates the sizing of the expensive electrode assembly); while energy capacity can be scaled more or less indefinitely at little extra cost. This makes them very cheap per kWh in applications that need a lot of energy capacity, but little power. For short-duration batteries on the other hand, where power requirements are relatively high compared to energy capacity, they do not offer a cost advantage.

They are supposedly being used for grid storage; but I don’t see them working on a large scale, because they are more expensive than other Li-Ion chemistries.

Cycle life is often touted as an advantage for grid storage by battery makers (especially flow battery makers); but I think it’s somewhat of a ruse: NMC batteries can last 10 years of daily cycling — and considering the enormous price drops for Li-Ion batteries, planning for more than 10 years probably doesn’t make much sense, since replacing the batteries in 10 years should be much cheaper than paying a non-trivial premium for more durable batteries right now…

SCiB is only the trade name. The major thing here is switching from LTO to TNO; which preserves the amazing robustness and current capability, while supposedly doubling energy density — which should bring it much closer to traditional (graphite anode) NMC, possibly surpassing LFP.

Bumping Pass LFP or LiFePO4, would be great, and if it handles the Cold and Heat, would be a great Replacement for Lead Acid 12V Battery Modules, too!

IIRC LTO has even better operating temperature range than LFP… But don’t quote me on that 🙂

Tesla batteries are much better, everybody knows.
Elon is genius.

Didn’t the Honda Fit EV compliance car use LTO batteries? AFAIK it was slow, had low range, and no fast charging. Yes, LTO batteries have great cycle life, and can be charged fast with minimal degradation, but as far as long range EV’s go, unless Toshiba has came up with a way to vastly increase *gravimetric* energy density as well as volumetric density, then it’s still a dead-end. Also, the cost is horrendous, I was looking into doing an EV conversion, with LTO batteries I was looking at $1,272/kWh for a 13.2kWh pack… Even the highest cost LiFePO4 cells I could find were only $650/kWh, and energy density was much greater(97Wh/kg for LiFePO4 vs 74Wh/kg for LTO), most LiFePO4 cells I could find were actually $400/kWh, with 96Wh/kg, so still much better than LTO. Also, LiFePO4 is a proven chemistry for EV’s, in fact, BYD used to only produce EV’s with LiFePO4 batteries, some even had 186 miles of range per charge, until China(supposedly in an attempt to create more battery innovation) said they could not build more cars with those batteries. And LiFePO4, does not use any Titanium, so that drives the cost down, at 80% Depth of Discharge… Read more »

The Fit had 20 kWh of lithium ion batteries, no mention of LTO.

Honda was said to be using SCiB batteries, which in the time frame meant LTO as far as I can tell.

Titanium is cheap, but the processing can get expensive. I’d pay more attention to the cost of the battery than its components.

SCiB for the past Fit it is. claims Fit EV used LTO, listing as source — though that site doesn’t work for me right now…

I realised that I can work around the greencarcongress problem by using reader mode… And the article contains a lot of interesting info on SCiB and LTO in general 🙂

Titanium is not really what drives the price up. Contrary to popular belief, titanium is not all that expensive — it’s in a similar range as copper, and thus fairly insignificant compared to other cost factors in Li-Ion batteries.

(What makes most titanium products so expensive, is that it’s much harder to machine than other common materials.)

Factors that make LTO batteries expensive might include the fairly low production volumes; possibly more complex processing; and low density meaning you need more of them for the same capacity. (Though that last aspect should get quite a bit better with the purported higher density of TNO…)

BTW, while LFP batteries can operate in a fairly large temperature range (though not as large as LTO IIRC), Jeff Dahn claims that they actually degrade worse than other types at elevated temperatures…

So, this new TNO, could replace LiFePO4, AND Lead Acid 12V Batteries! Super – a Great Place to Start! (EV’s using 12V Lead Acid Batteries…Enough!)

Tokyo Shibaura Denki K.K. (Toshiba) is one serious conglomerate, having made several advances to the state-of-the-art all the way back since the 1800’s with their Telegraph business. I know 99% of these breakthroughs turn out to be duds, but TOSHIBA is a more serious company – and if they say they’ve made a true breakthrough I would tend to believe it.

Not yet for 12V Battery Replacement – But Close – 24V – 48V:

“next-generation SCiBTM” >

“… 24V & 48V Battery Modules – Released in April 2017; Smaller than Lead Acid and 1/4th the Weight; 23 Ah Cells with BMS. …”

Plus – (Ambient Temp: -30 to 45V – 55°C)

And – – Home and Industrial Energy Storage Units.

“capacity retention at 7000 cycles was 86% by full charge-discharge cycling at 1C rate” Come on Toshiba… these cells are intended for ultra fast charging – it’s disingenuous to to quote the cycle life at a rate they will never be charged at.

I keep a folder full of articles about battery breakthroughs that never reach market.