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Power Earth

Long In Development, Toshiba 'SCiB' Battery Debuts 284

relliker notes Toshiba's announcement of the SCiB, a battery we have been following for years. (As usual, use NoScript to avoid the incredibly annoying timed begging popup on Gizmag's site.) Here is Toshiba's SCiB site. The battery's specs claim 6,000+ charge/deep-discharge cycles with minor capacity loss, safe rapid charging to 90% in 5 minutes, and enhanced safety regarding overheating or shorting out. It could make its way into electric vehicles before long.
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Long In Development, Toshiba 'SCiB' Battery Debuts

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  • SCIB (Score:5, Informative)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:18AM (#33054286)

    SCIB = Super Charge Ion Battery []

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Specs from Toshiba's web site:

      Nominal Voltage 12V
      Nominal Capacity 4.0Ah
      Max. Charging Current 8.4A
      Max. Discharging Current 8.0A (continuous)
      25A (within0.3s)
      Size Approx. 145 x 109 x 48mm
      Weight Approx. 1.0kg

      Features of SCiBTM TBP-0501

      Safety The battery with advanced safety due to anode formed with oxide materials.
      No bursting, ignition, or fumes.*

      *According to crush test performed by Toshiba (
      Long Life The SCiBTM cell offers more than 6,000 charge-discharge cycles.
      It co

  • CAN I HAS for my mobile phone please?

    Seriously, it's a problem in the winter.

  • i would not mind getting a electric trike for those "short" trips around the local area.

  • Erm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeathToBill ( 601486 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:26AM (#33054308) Journal

    Toyota? Or Toshiba?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Toyota? Or Toshiba?

      As it is another fine "editing" job by Slashdot Hack KDawson, WHO KNOWS?

    • Re:Erm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by kiwijapan ( 1293632 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:33AM (#33054328)

      Toyota? Or Toshiba?

      Toshiba, as in TFA. The title is just wishful thinking to get this in the Prius.
      Seriously, one of the main issues (other than price) keeping people from buying electric or hybrid vehicles is the time it takes to recharge, which doesn't make them a viable option for long (read: hundreds of kilometres in one go) trips.

    • Toyshiba? Or Toshota?

  • by Neoporcupine ( 551534 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:31AM (#33054322) Homepage
    Is Toyota really involved or do all Japanese companies look the same to you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by indre1 ( 1422435 )
      Does this mean that Prius will now go 2 miles instead of 1.5 on batteries.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, only the people look the same to me.

    • by Tuqui ( 96668 )

      Somewhere it said that Mitsubishi Motors is working with Toshiba in the development, but Toyota...?

  • Toshiba (Score:5, Informative)

    by relliker ( 197112 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:36AM (#33054340)

    My original post's title did not have the company name in it :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
      kdawson epic fail (again). You'd be best mailing timothy (the only actual "editor") to ask for a correction.
    • There goes my pithy slogan: "Toyota: there's no stopping them now!"
    • It's good to know the editors are doing something. We should be supportive of their attempts instead of discouraging them by jumping on every little mistake.
      • It's good to know the editors are doing something. We should be supportive of their attempts instead of discouraging them by jumping on every little mistake.

        I'm supportive when CmdrTaco, Timothy, or one of the other editors make a mistake. It happens, Soulskill (who sticks to Idle) made one the other day and he owned up to it and even made a funny joke, but kdawson is the worst editor /. has had in a while. He regularly messes up the article, makes unnecessary edits that end up making the article incorrect or cause grammatical errors to make it as if the person who submitted it made the mistake.

        There's trolls for every article, but kdawson continually makes mis

  • Time for the maths! (Score:5, Informative)

    by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:42AM (#33054360)
    A 2kg battery pack is 24V for 4.2Ah. That's ~100wh

    To match the Chevy Volt's 16Kwh You'd need around 160 of these. That's for a tiny 40mile range. These aren't going to be the main power source of a car any time soon
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:07AM (#33054414)

      According to Wikipedia (, the driver can only use 8.8kWh of the full capacity, to maximise the lifetime of the battery. Given that the lifetime of these batteries is the main draw, you might be able to get away with 90 SCiB-model batteries for a comparable capacity. Incidentally, that works out to about 180kg, comparable to the Volt's 170kg Li-ion pack, which is still an improvement given that Li-ion are one of the best battery types for energy/weight ratio. So it'

    • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @07:10AM (#33054614) Homepage

      You could maybe come up with a design that uses batteries like this for hard accelleration, climbing, and startup, when drain is high - and use the base-load batteries for other times, meanwhile shifting charge from the base-load back to the high-drain ones while driving normally. Such a design would get better use out of both battery types.

    • by julesh ( 229690 )

      A 2kg battery pack is 24V for 4.2Ah. That's ~100wh

      Indeed. The energy density seems to be about 0.05Wh/g. Compare with about 3Wh/g for LiFePo4 batteries, which have the same safety benefits, and you start to see why this won't be appearing in EVs any time soon.

  • Use for laptops? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Twinbee ( 767046 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:53AM (#33054380) Homepage

    According to Wikipedia, the disadvantage compared to Lithium Ion batteries is that they store less energy in a given space/weight, which is why this tech may not extend to small devices such as laptops.

    • from what I see on their page, a 1kg battery can hold 48Wh (abigsmurf commented on this before you). A laptop might use somewhere between 15 to 30 W (for reasonable usage), so you get to use a laptop for 3 to 1.5 hours, depending on how hungry it is. I don't really get what the advantage of this new SCiB thing is, except that it is NOT Li-Ion.
      Anyway, I understood you can buy (as in it's already available) a car that can go for more than 100km on one recharge. If I ever want a car for a city, that's what I'm

      • by tibman ( 623933 )

        One big advantage i noticed was that they don't explode when punctured.. like Li-ion / LiPo.

  • by Twinbee ( 767046 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:17AM (#33054440) Homepage

    According to this page they state "SCiBTM is a well-balanced battery that combines high power output and large capacity with power density almost equal to that of capacitors": []

    Also on this page, they state 96 watts per kilogram (12 volt x 8 amp): []

    Only 96 watts per kg? That's not close to a capacitor which is about 1000-10000 watts per kg. Maybe I'm missing something but what gives?

  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:44AM (#33054534) Journal

    The electric motor beats the combustion engine in every way: Simpler, more reliable, much more efficient, more powerful, smoother and leveler output of power over a wider range of RPMs, quieter, smaller, lighter weight, and much less expensive. The big reason we don't use them everywhere is lack of a way to store sufficient energy that is 1) cheap, 2) lightweight, 3) quickly refillable, 4) durable, 5) not bulky. The humble gas tank is far better than the batteries, fuel cells, ultra capacitors, and other things (like flywheels?) that we have now. Solve these problems and bring the battery to the point where it is at least competitive with the gas tank even if still a little inferior, and powering cars with gasoline will be history so fast that the oil companies won't know what hit them.

    Overhyped breakthroughs that really aren't are legion. But often it really does happen. 2009 was the year of the LCD. I'm still astonished at how quickly the CRT vanished last year. Over the last decade, the incandescent light bulb was pushed into niche applications as compact fluorescents took over But seems they won't reign long with LEDs steadily improving. The 1980s was huge, with the shift from vinyl records to CDs, the microwave oven, and the PC. The 1990s was even bigger with the Internet and the gigantic leaps in hard drive capacity. Doesn't seem there will be a year of the Linux desktop, more like a decade.

    But this change seems very likely to be real. We've had electric motors on the sidelines for more than a century, and we know they work great. We've also had batteries a long time, so maybe we should be more cautious and skeptical about breakthroughs. But what we haven't had all that long are all these new battery materials such as lithium-ion. So I think that even if Toshiba's advance is less than it sounds, many others are working hard on the same problems, and we'll see huge improvements soon. Like LCDs were 5 years ago, batteries are on the cusp, and it really won't take much more to make the battery + electric motor combination better, much better, than combustion engine + gas tank. I'd be hesitant to buy a new car with a combustion engine. Might be obsolete very quickly, the way CRTs went last year. Combustion engine powered cars still have a few years, perhaps, the only question is how many?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Pretty soon, except those without their own garage.

      When you can charge up enough for ~2-3hours driving in ~15 minutes with an hour or so between possible recharges, this will be fine for long distance driving.

      If you drive less than 2-3 hours to work (actual moving, so traffic jams don't count) and have your own garage, it's good NOW.

      If you don't have your own garage, then unless you drive off specifically to recharge, they still don't work.

      Unless there's a way to get your home electric power to the car on t

    • by Lifyre ( 960576 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @07:24AM (#33054650)

      Great points. However I think that with continued development you're going to find that hydrogen is what eventually replaces gas as our power source of choice for cars. Eventually it will pull up, hook up, refuel, drive away. The biggest hurdle there is an efficient delivery system and excess power to create hydrogen with (need more nuclear). Batteries are great in that they're portable power but honestly they're nasty little things, especially when they burn or get damaged. I worked with some super-capacitors for a small company making hybrid electric buses for NYC, they were amazing in that they could hold 1000 Farrads at 2V, however they made a nice cyanide cloud if they burned...

      • yes i can just se parents letting little Jimmy on a school bus that has a big hazchem warning sticker on the back :-)
    • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @07:41AM (#33054724) Homepage

      You don't need to renew your gas tank every 6000 charges (admittedly, that's probably a lot of years in an absolutely ideal charging scenario, but the chances that it works like that with ordinary car-use are near-zero). When you do, it doesn't cost you as much as a *new* car (not even a replacement of the car you're driving, a BRAND NEW car). Refuelling your car does not require an enormous infrastructure and 100's or 1000's of amps flowing down a cable (sorry, but I'd rather have a petroleum fire on the end of my fuelling nozzle than have the equivalent happen with an electric charging cable - slight fire that you can extinguish versus KABOOM - plus the price of copper is so high at the moment that people are ripping up telephone lines and melting them down). Fuel stops don't need to have the equivalent of a small power station to run them. You can walk to the station if you run out of fuel and come back with enough to get you to the next fuelling stop. You don't need something like 75% of the weight of the car being fuel (and that weight never lessens no matter how "empty" you're running).

      When everyone parks their car at home at 6pm, it doesn't cause a massive power surge larger than our entire towns take at the moment. If you want to go long-distance, you pack some extra fuel, or note the locations of various fuel stops across Europe - because even the tiniest town up in the hills where they barely have electric will have petroleum - I got from the UK through France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and back on about £300-400 of fuel - that's the same as a quarter's worth of electricity for my house without an electric car, God knows what it would have cost in an electric car. You don't have to manage and dispose of nearly a ton of Lithium battery every time a car is scrapped (or, similarly, find nearly a ton of it when you build one) - there's more than enough nasty stuff in brake linings and exhausts but it doesn't make anywhere near as much waste.

      Seriously, I'm a realist and have been saying for years that oil needs to STOP being used. But at the moment, the tech for electric is nowhere near good enough, hence the rise of "hybrid" (read: two cars wastage for the price of one) and slow-moving, short-range electric vehicles. We've had electric vehicles for decades - my milkman still delivers on a lead-acid-based vehicle that was introduced before I was even born (the 70's) - they charge overnight, do 30mph, and are slowly being replaced by the lithium battery variety. They are on the edge of plausibility but there are still a million, much more difficult, problems to overcome than just inventing a slightly more suitable battery. And in the end, grid-surge means higher peak-demand which means we have to use the only *practical* methods of generating that sort of electricity en-masse: Nuclear, coal, gas and other oil-based burning. All we've done is move the oil-burning into a power station and lost at least 10% of the electricity in storage/transmission.

      Electric cars will stay the SSD's of the vehicle market for a while yet - expensive, with their own downsides, but provide clear benefits, and therefore used mainly by enthusiasts. I'm driving a 1997 car that's in perfect working order with no major mechanical changes made to it. It's the third or fourth car like that that I've owned. That sort of second-hand market will not exist for DECADES in the electric car market, because of the price of spares and batteries - that means most people who are driving second-hand cars (i.e. most drivers everywhere) will not be able to afford to change. Electric cars will cost a lot more for a long while and that means they risk being shunned entirely, or seen as a "luxury". It will take electric cars at least another 10 years after they are "solved" to take over our roads and for everyone "normal" to be driving them. Home maintenance of them is probably also out of the window - good for big dealerships, bad for local garages.

      It will happen, eventually, with some te

      • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:39AM (#33055532)

        What a well thought out and rational response. The fact you've been moderated, "troll", seems to validate that statement. Seems many low IQ moderators love to censor when either they don't understand the material at all, or simply don't agree. I encourage others to moderate your post up as it wonderfully highlights many of the very real problems (perceived or actualized) with electric cars. Just the same, I do have some nits to mention.

        Refuelling your car does not require an enormous infrastructure

        Actually it does. Infrastructure and transport, not to mention localized mixing for local emission laws, is actually a very large percentage of petrol costs. You're just so accustomed to seeing it everywhere, you don't notice. Well that, plus the fact that much of it is on the highways and under ground.

        slight fire that you can extinguish versus KABOOM

        Actually, many battery technologies are less likely to vent vapors which might burn. Of course, you are correct in a fashion that various battery technologies, such as lion, are very likely to bloat/vent/burn/explode after overcharging, rapid discharge exceeding rating, and blunt force trauma. So it is an issue but in different situations.

        When everyone parks their car at home at 6pm, it doesn't cause a massive power surge larger than our entire towns take at the moment.

        This is clearly hysteria. Largely, the required infrastructure to support such a scenario doesn't even exist. Besides, both cars and chargers are already looking to address this by "smart" chargers and even simple timers. The reality is, just because you plug in at 6pm doesn't mean it starts charging at 6pm. And even if it does start charging, a simple trickle is frequently all that is actually needed. Designers already understand peak vs off-peak loads and costs and are already actively seeking solutions. Some solutions are already available and/or integrated.

        If you want to go long-distance,

        Actually, this is exactly why hybrid solutions have appeal. Beyond that, other car designers have small, optional trailers or "back packs" for the vehicle which dramatically extends range. Typically they are generators which allow you to keep your batteries charged using existing infrastructure for long distance trips. Solutions exists. They are not really ideal and of course, add additional cost. Just the same, the long-distance "woes" are certainly addressable.

        Others are also exploring alternate solutions such as exchangeable electrolytic solution. Meaning, just as now, stations would maintain large vats of "fuel". Only in this case, the fuel is an electrolytic solution rather than petrol. To refuel, you attach two hoses. One to empty your discharged solution and the other to fill up with a fully charged solution. Again, not really ideal but people are clearly exploring possibilities.

        And in the end, grid-surge means higher peak-demand

        Actually, most research seems to indicate lower peak demand and much, much higher off-peak demand whereby base load power is frequently wasted.

        All we've done is move the oil-burning into a power station and lost at least 10% of the electricity in storage/transmission.

        "All"? That's actually a very big deal. Electric motors, even after the 10%-20% transmission loss is still dramatically more efficient that are internal combustion engines. Not to mention, power plants also gain efficiency from scale. Not to mention this allows for cleaner air and centralized pollution mitigation. We all have roughly $1000 added to each vehicle in an effort to simply make the exhaust less toxic; which completely ignores making it "clean." For JUST US car manufacturers, that's roughly $3.6 billion dollars wasted annually.

        That sort of second-hand market will not exist for DECADES in the electric car market

        This is an exce

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        Refuelling your car does not require an enormous infrastructure

        Actually, it does; oil rigs, oil wells, refineries, transportation of the fuel, and gasoline stations. It's just that you don't notice the infrastructure because it's been there all along. If you had electric cars you would only need charging stations while travelling, as you could charge it at home.

        We've had electric vehicles for decades

        Longer. []

        But electric cars are the SSD's and 3D movies of today

        I agree with the SSD, but I really don't think 3

      • by tibman ( 623933 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @11:44AM (#33057086) Homepage

        You shouldn't have been marked troll but i think you underestimate the ammount of use you get for 6000 cycles. At 100miles per cycle that's 600,000 miles of life! Even 50miles per cycle is still 300,000 miles. During that time you skipped like 200 engine oil changes. Didn't consume 20,000 gallons of gas (assuming 30mpg). Air filter changes too. If you drove an average of 100miles per day, that's 16 years of non-stop use.

        I get what you're saying about no electric charging points around. But where there is elecricity, there could be a charging point, right? There aren't many places without electricity. I would think gas-stations would want to usher in electric cars because if it takes 30min to quick charge.. that's 30 minutes those people have to buy stuff at the station. They don't make much on fuel sales anyways, what do they care.

        Disclosure: I drive a year 2000 Jeep Cherokee and also use an SSD. The TV is still 2D.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Oh, they have many years to go. I know quite a few people with driving habits that make a 50 mile radius look pathetic. Hell, if you drive the main road north from the capital here in Norway towards the nothern parts of the country, you won't even make it across the Dovre mountain. That is if they deal with temperatures of 0 F and below in the winter. I got a friend who lives in the midwest US, don't think he'll get an electric any time soon either. Yes, maybe it will take over in the cities where people do

      • Nissan LEAF provides a real-world range of about 70 miles (max advertised 100.) These systems warm up as you use them due to inefficiency just like any other vehicle, so freezing temperatures are only a problem until they warm up. And yes, it has the potential to replace the second car now, and both cars in a generation or two, if we would just get on it!

        But I fully expect a car I buy now to be a bucket of rust well before the gas guzzler is an endangered species.

        There's certainly a lot less to go wrong with an EV. What bothers me about cars is that for less money than silicone-filled synthetic rubber they could us

    • The electric motor beats the combustion engine in every way.

      Except for the reasons you later pointed out:

      1) cheap, 2) lightweight, 3) quickly refillable, 4) durable, 5) not bulky

      Those are some pretty major ways that intenral combustion beats electric.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mindbooger ( 650932 )

      The electric motor beats the combustion engine in every way

      Not quite _every_ way. What it's missing is "soul" (all you folks driving stock Hondas won't notice any change, har har): the howl of a GT-1-spec V8 that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, the growl of a boxer-6, the scream of a racebike at 16k RPMs, even the burble of a tuned street-V8 idling. I guess you can play pretty motor sounds from a speaker, but still, it's not the same. :)

      And there really is a lot of cool engineering in modern ICEs. Some of us will miss that.

      Don't get me wrong, I th

  • What is the energy density of SCiB? And what is the energy density of a conventional battery? Thanks.
  • Read TFA carefully, and you'll notice they never guarantee 6000 cycles AND 5-minute recharge at the same time.

    Also a 5-minute recharge is NOT going to be very economical-- a significant fraction of the applied power is going to be lost as heat.

    In a real car, you'll need a few dozen of these little bugers, and when you stack them, heat dissipation will be a huge issue. A real design
    will require a very fancy liquid cooling system to keep the thing from melting down during charge and discharge. ... and they d

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