British Company Develops Hydrogen Fuel Cell to Power iPhone

Thanks to Hempenearth for sharing this link.

A article in the Telegraph reports that British company called Intelligent Energy has developed a new phone battery which is actually a fuel cell, that they say can power an iPhone 6 for a week. The company reports they are working with Apple on the technology, and say the technology could be in the market within two years.

Henri Winand, the CEO of Intelligent Energy tells the Telegraph, “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.”

The battery will need to be recharged via a disposable cartridge that would contain ‘hydrogen releasing powder’ that could charge a phone for a week. The cost is described as being the ‘price of a latte’.

While this might be an interesting technical achievement, I’m not really sure that this will have mass market appeal. There may be situations where something like this might make sense — for example if you were away for a reliable power source for extended periods of time, but if you have to pay, say, five dollars per week to charge this battery it would be far more expensive to run your phone than charging from an electric outlet. In 2012, CNet estimated that it costs only 41 cents per year to charge an iPhone 5.


  • Andrew

    It would have its uses as a backup after the battery was dead. People that remember to charge their phones may only have to fill the fuel cell a couple times a year.

  • One big interest would be for travellers and safety phones in mountain (provided there is network, but there is more and more, because rescue team understood that VHF is too expensive).

    • wpj

      My friend helped set this company up- fortunately it has changed considerably since he quit due to “goings on” which he discovered!

  • Omega Z

    From the article in the link
    “Intelligent Energy’s technology doesn’t require high pressure hydrogen storage and can be refueled by ->swapping out self-contained modules.<-"

    Tesla has tried the battery switch out. It hasn't been well received. Probably this approach will soon be phased out by Tesla.
    People are all about convenience & simplicity. They really don't care for the simple process of filling up with gasoline. It's only the fact that they have no choice that it works. Probably many would have issues with a simple tablet/pill needing dropped in the tank.