Toshiba Corp. on Thursday announced plans to construct a new dedicated production facility for its safe, long-life rapid charge SCiB battery, in anticipation of strong future demand. Toshiba expects surge in demand for SCiB for industrial and automotive applications from fiscal year 2010 on, which means that the company wants to take advantage of the dawn of electro-mobiles.
Toshiba has selected Kashiwazaki city in Niigata prefecture, north-west Japan, as the primary candidate for the new production site. Kashiwazaki seeks to realize a low-carbon society by promoting electric vehicles (EV) and to attract EV-related businesses. The city has applied for recognition as a model area for the "EV and plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) town concept," which is promoted by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to encourage adoption of EV and PHV. Toshiba found Kashiwazaki's approach consistent with its own goals in the SCiB business, and was also attracted by the city's subsidy program.
Toshiba aims to start construction of the new facility in the fall of 2009, and to start production in fall 2010.
SCiB – the super charge ion battery – is Toshiba’s rechargeable battery that offers enhanced safety, long-life and rapid charge. SCiB started to ship in April 2008, and the battery is attracting considerable interest from potential customers. Toshiba currently produces SCiB at Saku Operations in Nagano prefecture.
The market for lithium-ion batteries for industrial and automotive applications is expected to see significant demand growth from fiscal year 2010 on, and to contribute a growing share to a lithium-ion battery market that is expected to reach sales of ¥1.7 trillion (approximately $19 billion) worldwide in fiscal year 2015. Toshiba aims to make SCiB a mainstay of its industrial systems and automotive products businesses worldwide.
SCiB adopts a new negative-electrode material that offers a high level of thermal stability and a high flash point electrolyte, and has a structure resistant to internal short circuiting and thermal runaway. The possibility of rupture or combustion is very low.
SCiB’s capacity loss after 3000 cycles of rapid charge and discharge is less than 10%. SCiB has an excellent long cycle life, and is able to repeat the charge-discharge cycle over 6000 times, which means that the SCiB can be continuously used for more than 10 years with a once-a-day recharge-discharge cycle.
Earlier this month Andrew Grove said in an interview that he had attempted to urge current executives of Intel Corp. to start battery business in expectations for surge of demand as electric vehicles are getting more popular.