Toshiba delays first fuel cell product launch

Delays expected for the launch of direct methanol fuel cells

Toshiba will begin selling its first direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) battery chargers later than expected after it ran into problems securing certain components for them, it said Monday.

DMFC battery chargers are portable power sources used to recharge other gadgets instead of plugging them into the wall. Toshiba's next fuel cell products will be embedded DMFCs in phones and laptops.

In a presentation earlier this year Atsutoshi Nishida, Toshiba's president, said it would be released before the end of March but the company now says it won't be available until later in the year.

DMFCs produce electricity from a reaction between methanol, water and air. The only by-products are a small amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide, so DMFCs are often seen as a greener source of energy than traditional batteries. Another advantage is that they can be replenished with a new cartridge of methanol in seconds.

Companies have been working for several years on development of DMFCs that are small enough to fit inside portable electronics gadgets to replace the Lithium Ion batteries currently used.

Last year Toshiba demonstrated a working prototype of a DMFC-powered cell phone and earlier this year said it planned to put DMFC packs for cell phones and laptop PCs on sale in its 2009 fiscal year, which runs from April to March 2010.

A first step towards those products was the DMFC battery pack, which would be used to recharge other devices. However problems getting the unspecified components has delayed that by a few months.

The company would not say which components it had problems obtaining.

Despite the delay in the charger Toshiba remains committed to its original schedule for the DMFC packs for cell phones and laptop PCs, it said.

Toshiba is targeting annual sales of DMFC devices of ¥100 billion ($US1 billion) by 2015.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags toshibadmfc

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?