Swappable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cartridges Could be the Future of Phone Power

By Gary Cutlack on at

A British company is making a play for the entire future of mobile power sources, claiming it has a prototype hydrogen fuel cell that's able to keep an iPhone operational for a week -- and that a world in which we buy fuel cells to recharge our phones once a week for the price of a coffee is but a few years away.

The boasts come from Intelligent Energy. It says its hydrogen fuel cell runs alongside a traditional battery in its customised iPhone 6, combining hydrogen and oxygen to create power and resulting in a bizarre situation where a mobile phone requires a mini exhaust pipe to vent the waste water and heat generated by the process.

The firm's chief exec Henri Winand explained: "We have now managed to make a fuel cell so thin we can fit it to the existing chassis without alterations and retaining the rechargeable battery. This is a major step because if you are moving to a new technology you have to give people a path they are comfortable with."

Finance boss Dr Mark Lawson-Statham also told the Telegraph that the R&D work is done and it's just a case of working out how to sell it to consumers (and hopefully get a major manufacturer to produce it), saying: "Physically we know we can do it, so it’s really about understanding the customer now. Our view is that this is a couple of years out but really it’s about how quickly does our partner want to press the button and get on with it."

And by "our partner" the company is believed to mean Apple, as researchers have suggested it's already forged some strong links with the US tech giant. [Telegraph]