Electronics and Semiconductors

Merging AI with LTO batteries for the future of e-scooters

21 July 2022
E-scooters may be able to charge faster, perform longer and be safer with AI-integrated LTO batteries. Source: ZapBatt

ZapBatt and Toshiba are collaborating on a new type of battery for micro-mobility applications such as e-scooters that involves merging ZapBatt’s artificial intelligence (AI) software with Toshiba’s lithium titanium oxide (LTO) battery cells.

LTO batteries are next generation battery options that will allow for better batteries to be applied to various new markets such as micro-mobility.

The AI-integrated LTO battery uses machine learning and hardware to improve battery performance. The AI analyzes 26 data points to illustrate how the battery performs to improve charging operations and over time the batteries will provide data to the AI software to allow it to become more energy efficient.

Using AI in LTO battery chemistries will help to solve three challenges:

  1. Current semiconductors do not work with the LTO chemistry. However, the custom LTO-optimized battery management system (BMS) created by ZapBatt works at unique voltages and can be re-configured to adapt as the cell chemistry grows. This allows programmable chips that can work with other chemistries and voltages.
  2. The bi-directional adaptive terminal voltage (BATV) technology from ZapBatt allows for voltage control of the battery system digitally with software. This enables the LTO to be a one-for-one swap of any lithium-ion chemistry without custom modification.
  3. The combination of technologies allows the system’s performance to analyze how energy is being used, such as enhanced regenerative braking for e-bikes. Other battery chemistries don’t have the flexibility to move energy in and out as quickly, ZapBatt said.

LTO specifications

Toshiba’s SCiB cells use LTO in its anode for:

  • Safety
  • Long life
  • Low-temperature performance
  • Rapid charging
  • High input/output power
  • Wide system-on-chip range

The cells provide up to 100% usable charge without shortening cycle life, which leads to longer use. The cells also perform in freezing temperatures as low as -30° C, compared to 0° C for typical lithium-ion batteries, ZapBatt said.

Additionally, the cells reduce operating expenses and e-waste and eliminate fire risk with the use of ZapBatt’s LTO system. The batteries have virtually no risk for self-thermal runaway.

Why safety matters

In the micro-mobility market, fires occur when lithium-ion batteries — with nickel, manganese, aluminum or cobalt oxides — are punctured, sustain damage or due to poor manufacturing, overuse or internal breakdown. LTO batteries are free of these oxides, meaning the battery chemistry is effectively immune to thermal runaway and battery fires.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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