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Electric bike: Toshiba joins forces with ZapBatt to launch a revolutionary battery

By publishing in 2005 a first document on its Super Charge Ion Battery (SCiB), Toshiba envisaged a great future for it by replacing more traditional lithium-ion cells. The merger with ZapBatt should open up new horizons for electric micro-mobility.

The lithium-titanium oxide batteries produced by Toshiba align all the more advantages as they benefit from the work of the Californian company ZapBatt. Able to operate at very low (-30° C) or high (55° C) temperatures, they heat up little and are unlikely to ignite spontaneously.

What the partners attribute to the absence of carbon at the anode, but also to the nickel, manganese, aluminum or cobalt oxides found in most lithium-ion batteries. ” The special chemistry of LTO cells effectively immunizes them against thermal runaway and fire confirms Toshiba.

They withstand discharge/recharge cycles particularly well to the point of being able to withstand 15,000 to 20,000 of them. of first life. The passage of time is not a serious concern for LTO cells either. The partners do not hesitate to put forward 20 to 25 years of lifespan.

Very fast charging

The relative insensitivity to temperatures of lithium-titanium oxide cells has brought out another quality: a short duration to fill up with energy. ZapBatt announces a speed of regeneration up to 21 times greater than that of cells usually used for micro-mobility. Compatible with braking regeneration, an LTO bicycle battery would require between 10 and 20 minutes of mobilization to regain its full capacity.

According to the calculations of the American company, obtained from real data collected, operators using fleets of electric vehicles carrying this chemistry should save up to 50% on the costs resulting from the relatively long downtimes necessary to fill up with fuel. energy.

This operating advantage is accentuated by the lower frequency of battery replacement over time. This also has a positive effect on the environment, while this technology is also easier to recycle.

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ZapBatt LTO Battery System

Battery Suppliers

ZapBatt did not wait for this merger to provide its customers, with an in-house BMS, battery solutions based on the cells of the Japanese manufacturer. The use of artificial intelligence will make it possible to always go a little further by supporting the progress made on SCiBs.

What Toshiba was looking for in particular by partnering with the American company, is to meet 3 challenges. First of all, a lack of chips compatible with LTO cells. Programmable, those developed by ZapBatt are scalable. This will make it possible to reconfigure them for other chemistries and other voltages than those specific to lithium-titanium oxide elements.

In addition, proprietary Bi-Directional Adaptive Terminal (BATV) technology is used to software control their individual voltages. Kind of like a ” universal adapter », this ability makes it possible to carry out in a battery system a one-for-one exchange of elements with any lithium-ion chemistry without having to carry out any modification. Another application: reconfiguring the batteries during their life for another use. Those first used on a bicycle could, for example, then be used to power household appliances.

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Energy density

Much has been said about the benefits of lithium-titanium oxide cells. But not its main disadvantage compared to its competitors: a lower energy density which requires heavier packs to obtain the same autonomy. ZapBatt has chosen to erase this feature as well as possible with integrated artificial intelligence.

System performance is improved by analyzing how energy is used. Thus, in particular, by providing an electric bicycle with more efficient regenerative braking. The Californian company has thus exploited a flexibility that other battery chemistries do not have to move energy in and out as quickly.

ZapBatt has unlocked the potential of Toshiba’s LTO chemistry for a variety of industries and new markets. And with disruptive technology that moves away from the ‘miracle battery’ trap and instead provides a real solution that is now coming to market. “Summarized Greg Mack, vice president and general manager of the “power electronics” division for the Japanese manufacturer.

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ZapBatt LTO Battery System

Today and not in 10 years

With hardware and software from ZapBatt, and our LTO chemistry, there is no other solution on the market as fast, safe and cost effective. “Assured the leader of Toshiba. In response, the CEO and co-founder of the American company, Charlie Welch, advances the climate emergency: ” For global carbon reduction and electrification, we need better battery solutions now, not ten years from now “.

While Toshiba’s LTO cells appear ideal for micro-mobility applications, their optimization with artificial intelligence developed by ZapBatt opens up new prospects and additional markets.

AI relies on a combination of machine learning and proprietary hardware. The company’s software now analyzes 26 data related to battery performance. Gradually, their number will increase to allow LTO systems to become even more efficient. The solution presented by the 2 partners should be available from the beginning of 2023.

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