Evolving mobility: The future that Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™” brings to bus operators

Evolving mobility: The future that Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™” brings to bus operators

The number of EV buses will be reduced from 6 to 4. Realizing fewer EV bus installation with Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™”

Lithium-ion batteries can store large amounts of electricity. It is used in a variety of fields, including automobiles, railways, industrial equipment, and energy storage systems, and is also used in electric buses (EV buses), which are currently attracting attention.
Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™” realizes both rapid charging and long life. We will elaborate on how this leads to a decrease in the number of required buses and contributes to cost reduction.

The reasons why the application of SCiB™ is expanding

Usually, when people talk about improving the performance of batteries, they say, "Lighter, smaller, cheaper". In this case, a common metric is energy density. Electric energy is expressed as Wh (watt-hour), so it can be in the form of Wh/kg (watt-hour per kg), Wh/l (watt-hour per liter), or USD/Wh (US Dollar per watt-hour).
Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™“ is more of a "Heavy, big and high price" battery in this respect than conventional lithium-ion batteries.
That's right!! It's not a good battery by this metric. This is because the battery voltage is lower compared to other lithium-ion batteries. Other batteries have an average operating voltage of 3.3 ~ 3.7 V per battery, but the SCiB™ has an average operating voltage of 2.3 ~ 2.4 V. This means that SCiB™ always has 2/3 disadvantage.
If it is so, why is the field of use expanding?

One of the answers is that

SCiB™'s short charging time improves EV bus operational efficiency

Take EV buses as an example.

The following is an example of a simplified model.
Please note that it is different from actual operation.
The prerequisites are as follows.

  • A circular route that can be completed in one hour.
  • Operating hours are 16 hours/day from 6:00 to 22:00
  • Every 20min, bus will come to each stop.

Suppose we introduce a bus with a battery that can charge for 4 hours and run for 4 hours.
In that case, three buses start running from 6:00 and the conventional lithium-ion battery​ runs out by 10:00. At this time, the first three buses need to go to charge station, and another three buses run on the route, which results we need six buses as total.

On the other hand, how about buses with Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™”?
The SCiB™ has excellent rapid-charge property and can charge more than 80% in 6 minutes, so let's take advantage of that!!

*Characteristics depends on cell type and usage conditions​.

There are 3 buses on the route with SCiB™ to run one lap per hour, and one of them comes back to charge every 20 minutes, only to finish charging in the 20 minutes waiting for the next bus. In other words, we need 4 buses: 3 buses on the route plus one bus at charge station.

As a result, we can say that  SCiB™ rapid charge property can reduce the number of buses from 6 to 4.
In other words, the short charge time increases the operational efficiency of the buses, resulting in a smaller number of buses.

The reduction in installed battery capacity allows for a larger vehicle cabin and improvement in electric efficiency

In addition, this method of operation has another benefit. It can reduce battery capacity for each bus.
As you may have already noticed, a battery with one hour of range has 1/4 battery energy capacity, comparing to a battery with four hours of range. Batteries that occupy a large part of the space and weight of a bus can be significantly reduced.
This can lead to larger cabins and improved energy consumption costs due to lighter weight.

Normal EV bus Larger Capacity = Big

SCiB™ EV bus Smaller Capacity = Compact

The number of EV buses can be reduced thanks to SCiB™'s unique combination of rapid-charging and long-lasting capabilities

So if we can only charge rapidly, will everything be OK? That's not true.
Comparing the 20-minutes charge operation with the four hours charge operation, 1 bus charges 12 times per day compared to 2 times each. There is a 6 times difference in the number of charges per day.

Normal EV bus 2 times charge in one day

SCiB™ EV bus 12 times charge in one day

In other words, unless battery has more than 6 times the life than conventional, this solution cannot be economical and environmental. Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™”'s other feature, long life, is effective for it.

*Characteristics depends on cell type and usage conditions​.

Even when rapid charge is performed with a battery of small capacity SCiB™, it can be expected to show longer life than a large battery solution.

Discover SCiB™ role in the EV bus landscape

We have introduced a model case in which the introduction of Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™”

using an EV bus as an example.

As a result, we can expect "larger cabins" and "improved energy consumption costs through weight reduction," and we hope you understand that these can be achieved by SCiB™ having both "rapid charge" and "long life" at the same time, and that neither can be achieved by one.
At the same time, you may also have felt that SCiB™ is a battery that works well with collaborated idea between customer and us for how to use it.
We will continue to provide content like this and share tips on how to use it.
If you have any challenges or problems, please let us know. We hope to come up with solutions together.
Thank you!!

For inquiries about Toshiba lithium-ion battery “SCiB™” products and specifications, click here.

The model applied in this article is an example of use, and the actual effect may vary depending on your terms of use.