Great news for electric car manufacturing: Electronics manufacturer Toshiba announced new technology that effectively doubles the capacity of a battery while significantly reducing its charge time.
While some battery makers are working to ditch traditional lithium-based batteries completely in favor newer materials, others believe that the key to success is to improve the current technology.
Toshiba's development has improved lithium-based cells in its SCiB line of battery products by increasing energy density. Toshiba claims that it has effectively doubled the energy density capabilities in a single battery cell of the same volume. Thanks to the increased density, the battery can undergo "ultra-rapid" recharging, enough to charge the 32 kWh battery of a "compact EV" for about 200 miles, all in only six minutes.
Currently, in the time it takes to to top-off a Tesla, about 86 gasoline-powered vehicles could fill up their fuel tanks. This slow charging time is something that manufacturers like Toyota have been trying to solve by seeking out the use of solid-state battery technology rather than improve the existing chemical-based cells that are used in electric cars today.
As manufacturers begin the accelerated transition towards the electrification of cars, one large problem remains in place: the charging infrastructure. It has been said time and time and again that there will always be an imbalance between battery-powered cars and chargers, however, even with the limited number of electrified vehicles on the roads today, this has been historically problematic, despite manufacturers and municipalities working together to solve this issue.
Longevity was also an important factor when designing these batteries. Toshiba says that in 5,000 discharges, the batteries experienced a diminishing capacity of less than 10 percent, a significant advancement.
Thanks to improved longevity, charging efficiency, and energy density, Toshiba has developed a battery which may very well be one of the breakthroughs needed for the commercialization of ultra-fast charging batteries. This could potentially help bring more electric vehicles on the road with greater range, and substantially less weight. With more and more countries accepting of the inevitable demise of the internal combustion engine, this new technology is effectively aiding in streamlining the acceptance of electrification across the world.