Overhype

by Mike Masnick




Battery Company Betting On Fuel Cells

from the well,-of-course... dept

Gillette, makers of batteries (among other things), has decided that this fuel cell thing might really have some potential and have invested in a fuel cell company. While I agree that there's a lot of potential for fuel cells, I still get confused when people say that they'll replace rechargeable batteries. In the article, they quote someone from the fuel cell company saying: "Another advantage is that the fuel would come in replaceable cartridges. The user simply snaps in a new one rather than having to wait for a recharge." A huge part of the reason people like rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries is that they don't always need to buy new batteries and have them handy for when the old batteries die. While fuel cells may last longer, they bring back that issue of having to always buy more "cells" (which most consumers will simply consider to be "long life batteries" anyway) and have them around. While longer life power is nice, battery companies shouldn't ignore the very reason people like rechargeables.

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  1. identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 23 Sep 2003 @ 11:05am

    Re: No Subject Given

    If they made it like butane cigarette lighters that you can refill, I can see it taking off. You carry around a can of compressed Hydrogen fuel and refill the cells as needed.

    The problem is that companies don't think that way, they want to tie you into a 'subscription' type program (just like inkjet printer manufacturers) so you have to keep coming back to them for regular purchases.

    It is not in most companies interests to develop a user-refillable fuel cell unless they can find a way to make the refill kit somehow proprietary so that noone else can sell you a cannister of compressed hydrogen to refill your cells with.

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