The increasing uptake of battery technology has been a critical step in supporting traditionally emissions-heavy industries to decarbonise their operations. But conventional lithium batteries won’t be the driving technology for the future.

Toshiba’s SCiBTM technology is a transformative force in the battery market. Compared to a conventional lithium battery, an SCiBTM cell utilises a lithium titanium oxide (LTO) in its anode. This chemistry ensures that if SCiBTM cells are pierced or damaged, the anode material transitions from a conductive phase to a high resistance phase. This is key to limiting the flow of energy and preventing any chance of thermal runaway and subsequent combustion.

Essentially, they’re self-protecting, which is a game-changing development. Utilising an LTO anode also means no possibility of lithium deposition or membrane-puncturing dendrite growth, meaning they’re far safer over time. It’s a technology that’s proven to be exceedingly robust, and safer, over the years. Toshiba have been manufacturing SCiBTM since 2010, with zero cell recalls or CPL (Contractual/Product Liability) accidents – a claim that conventional lithium batteries can’t make.

Less waste, longer lifespans

Optimising the total lifespan and cost of ownership for battery technology are also crucial factors in the decarbonisation process – another area where SCiBTM technology excels. Compared to conventional lithium batteries, SCiBTM cells have a typical lifespan of over 20,000 cycles. Even after the 20,000 cycle point they still retain 80 per cent of the original capacity. So, after reaching the end of the first application, they can receive a second life where weight isn’t a factor, such as stationary solar support, creating a provable asset long into the future.

Faster charging means more efficient fleets

The technology’s most exciting development is its rapid charging capabilities. With a high C-rate, charge times are measured in minutes, not hours, and an entire system can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in just six minutes, and fully charged in ten minutes.

This is key for easy adoption. If a vehicle requires multi-hour charging times, workers must carefully plan their usage to ensure availability. But if their vehicle rapidly charges in the time of a coffee break, this downtime disappears.

Battery technology that’s designed for the future

With exceptional safety, improved lifespan, and rapid charging, SCiBTM technology has the capability to be the cornerstone of a business’ decarbonisation plan. And the Australian mining industry has started to take notice, with SCiBTM systems already deployed in underground electric vehicles.

Consider the flow-on effects, as well. It’s not just fleet electrification; faster charging enables a smaller fleet, fewer charging stations, and more efficient use of the vehicles on hand. It allows businesses to improve safety on site, while vastly reducing capital costs at the same time.

Does this signal the end for conventional lithium batteries? Not yet. As decarbonisation efforts ramp up across industry, we will still see them used in low-challenge applications where low charge rates or lower lifetime is required. But for operations that require rapid charging, uncompromising safety, and extreme longevity, SCiBTM technology will lead the way.

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