New Toshiba Battery Recharges In 90 Seconds, Faster Than Gas Pump

Toshiba has improved it's Super Charge Ion Battery technology to the point where a 90 second recharge is possible. With enough amperage it would actually be faster to recharge than to fill up with gas.

What we call "Lithium Ion" batteries these days are actually using a lithium-cobalt cathode acting against a graphite anode in most circumstances. They work great for high density energy needs but suffer from somewhat sluggish charge times, reduced power capacity over successive charges and the nasty habit of blowing up when things go bad. Toshiba's SCiB batteries use a lithium titanate-based cathode which unfortunately reduces energy density, but achieves significantly faster charge times and suffers much less capacity degradation over time. It's also completely inert compared to lithium cobalt batteries — you can drive a nail through a cell and it doesn't care. The initial versions charged in about five minutes but Toshiba has announced improvements which slashes charge time down to 90 seconds per cell.

Cell charging times are multiplied over the entire battery pack, so the total charging time is dependant on how many cells are involved. However, the capability to charge in such short times still exists, so achieving a super short charge time is possible with a big enough power supply. We're talking organ liquefying amperage, but the danger could certainly be mitigated as it is with today's charging systems. Toshiba is talking about aiming the technology at EV bikes, motorcycles and hybrids.

Charge time is our primary barrier to being head over heels about electric cars. If we can get recharging to look more like refueling we'd be all over some zero-emissions, instant-torque, high-RPM action. [Business Green]