Historically, electric vehicles have faced three major issues: range, cost, and charging time. Over the last several years, EV range has increased dramatically and purchase prices have fallen, but batteries still take a while to charge. Even the Chevrolet Bolt, the first mass-market long-range EV available in the U.S., only gets 90 miles of range after 30 minutes on a fast-charger. But a new type of battery from Toshiba may change that.
Earlier this month, Toshiba announced what it calls the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. A new material called titanium niobium oxide reportedly doubles the capacity of the battery anode, allowing it to charge much faster than a conventional lithium-ion battery. Toshiba even claims that an EV can gain nearly 200 miles of range after only a six-minute charge. That’s presumably rated using the ultra-generous EU NEDC standard, but it’s still impressive. The Japanese tech giant also says that with the same charge time, you can expect a car powered by its new Super Charge Ion Battery to travel three times farther than a car using current battery technology.
“We are very excited by the potential of the new titanium niobium oxide anode and the next generation SCiB,” said Dr. Osamu Hori, Toshiba’s head of research and development, in a release. “Rather than an incremental improvement, this is a game-changing advance that will make a significant difference to the range and performance of EV. We will continue to improve the battery’s performance and aim to put the next-generation SCiB into practical application in fiscal year 2019.”
Toshiba debuted the first-generation SCiB back in 2008, and in 2012, Honda used it to power the short-lived Fit EV. In the Fit, the 20-kWh battery pack offered an 82-mile range and could fully charge in about three hours from a 240-volt charger.