UK energy firm to create phones with seven-day batteries

Hydrogen cell developer Intelligent Energy gets £5m funding from unknown smartphone company

UK fuel-cell specialist Intelligent Energy has signed a deal with a mystery smartphone manufacturer to create phones with seven-day battery lives.

The unnamed up-and-coming device maker will contribute 5.25 million towards the development of a prototype device, according to a Bloomberg report.

Intelligent Energy develops hydrogen-based power systems, and was responsible for projects such as integrating hydrogen cells into London black cabs and Boeing aircraft.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Hydrogen power is principally used as a form of green energy, because the only by-product produced is water vapour. However, it also has substantial applications for commercial batteries.

Aside from some recent signs of progress, innovation around traditional lithium-ion batteries has been largely stagnant for the last 10 years.

Device makers have attempted to offset this with more power-efficient components, but the problem has still led to consumer frustration at increasingly short battery life.

"With consumers demanding more and more from their phones, battery innovation has not kept up," said the company's acting managing director for consumer electronics, Julian Hughes.

"Embedding fuel-cell technology into portable devices provides a solution to the current dilemma of battery life."

However, while the news could have implications on the flagship market, Intelligent Energy's initial devices will be aimed at the developing world, such as areas without existing power infrastructure.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The first models could also take as much as two years to reach the market, the company said, but it has reaffirmed its intentions to deliver the technology to a wider market.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The killer app is a battery with a seven-day refresh life,"chief executive Henri Winand said. "We think that will appeal to everyone. It's not just for intrepid explorers".

The main challenge will presumably be slimming down the traditionally bulky hydrogen cells enough to fit into the slim form factor that consumers have come to expect from their devices.

Featured Resources

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now

Most Popular


Apple confirms serious bugs in iOS 13.5

4 Jun 2020

The UK looks to Japan and South Korea for 5G equipment

4 Jun 2020

Tycoon ransomware discovered using Java image files to target software firms

5 Jun 2020