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CBMM, Toshiba and Volkswagen Truck & Bus present prototype for electric bus with ultra-fast charging battery

CBMM, Toshiba and Volkswagen Truck & Bus start this Wednesday, June 19th, the first real operational tests of a prototype lithium-ion with Niobium battery-powered electric bus, an unprecedented use in the global automotive industry. The great advantage of this type of technology is that it allows for ultra-fast recharging, where you can reach the vehicle's maximum range in just 10 minutes, greater safety, and a useful life that can be up to three times longer than conventional batteries.  

CBMM, a world leader in the production and commercialization of Niobium products, and Japan's Toshiba worked for six years as part of collaborative efforts to develop mixed Titanium oxide technology in which Niobium is added to the anode in lithium-ion battery cells, a development known as NTO. Later, in 2021, the project was expanded through a partnership with Volkswagen Truck & Bus, a pioneer in electric vehicles development in Latin America, which led to this innovative battery being used  in an electric bus through the development of thermal, energy and ultra-fast charging management systems.

"We strive to achieve sustainable growth within the Niobium market. For this reason, we are seeking out new applications and technologies for a range of industries. We continue to drive innovations within our primary sector, the steel industry, but have sought to diversify our operations. We expect to see accelerated growth in the battery sector from now on with the development of materials that guarantee increased competitiveness and quality”, explains Ricardo Lima, CBMM’s CEO.

This technology will be validated and improved during this real operation at CBMM, where the vehicle will run on a daily basis along a fixed route, with recharging on the pantograph scheduled at the beginning or end of the journey. The operation will allow data to be obtained on both the characteristics of the NTO battery and the vehicle in order to identify any adjustments needed before future commercializing the product.

“This project is strategic for us to start developing the next generations of e-mobility.  Seven years ago, we surprised the market with the first electric truck prototype made in Latin America. Now, we are once again anticipating global trends and seeking to lead the transformation of the industry, with reference partners such as CBMM, which will also support us by receiving our prototype for tests in real operation at its plant in Araxá", says Roberto Cortes, President and CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

Configured on an 18-ton chassis, the prototype bus has an estimated range of 60 kilometers and can be recharged in 10 minutes when a 300-kW pantograph is used. It is equipped with four packs of lithium batteries in which Niobium is added to the battery’s anode, each with a useful capacity of up to 30kWh. Among the advantages of this system, its NTO anode structure allows it to withstand ultra-fast recharging and may be operated in milder temperatures,  increasing battery life, safety and  generating a reduction in energy consumption due to a reduced demand for system cooling.

The testing period is indefinite and will be defined according to the evolution of the application. Over the medium term, testing is expected to be expanded to a small fleet for validation. At this stage, all components will be monitored in real time to analyze their behavior and support processes aimed at improvement and development of the technology. Only after this phase, it will be possible to determine the next steps to be taken for launch of the electric bus. Batteries fitted with NTO technology are expected to be available on the market in 2025.


About CBMM 

World leader in the production and marketing of Niobium products, CBMM has more than 500 customers in over 50 countries. Headquartered in Brazil, with regional offices in China, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, the company supplies products and technology to the infrastructure, mobility, aerospace, healthcare, and energy sectors. The company has a New Business front to support its growth plans through the development of new applications that is focused on accelerating the entry, into the global market, of Niobium technology. In the last 5 years, CBMM has made strategic investments aiming at new developments in Niobium materials for Li-ion batteries. Since its foundation, CBMM has developed projects in Brazil and in several countries around the world to foster the adoption of Niobium technology by several industries. For further information, please visit


About VW Truck & Bus

A member of the TRATON Group, VW Truck & Bus is a manufacturer of Volkswagen commercial vehicles and one of the largest truck and bus assemblers in Latin America. Since 1981, when it began operations, getting to the top of the market while respecting and satisfying customer needs has always been the automaker's focus. And that's precisely what VWTB offers: tailormade products and excellent after-sales service. The company is also an industry reference in technological innovation, The company is always looking for solutions that reduce environmental impact and help preserve the environment. For over 40 years, the manufacturer has maintained its commitment to developing vehicles that go above and beyond the requirements of its clients, whether they are driven in Brazil and Latin America, Africa or Asia.


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