Monday, September 24, 2007

Fuel Cells in the Mainstream

For those of you who missed it, a couple weeks ago there were actually two (2) (II) articles on fuel cells on the front page of the Boston Globe business section . But it was sort of a good news/strange news situation.

Good news: both were positive announcements, not bankruptcies.

The strange news: One was an announcement that Medis Technologies, a NASDAQ-listed joint Israeli-US venture, is ready to bring their portable multi-device charger fuel cell to market in the US. Problem is, the device is self-contained and disposable, therefore is not a fuel cell by definition. I (among others) have had some heated exchanges with Medis reps, but whatever.

Strange #2: For those of you buying a Honda FCX Concept fuel cell vehicle during the next year, the US is offering a whopping $12,000 tax credit. Problem here is, there's still only one in use in the US, leased by a California family, and an outright purchase price would be around $700,000 - $800,000. On the other hand, I have driven the Honda, and it's spectacular. I just wish I could use the tax credit.

Today's news: MA-based Protonex has come up with another business coup, non-military this time, signing a truck SOFC APU joint development deal with global diesel gen-set maker Cummins (MN, IN). Cummins had been working SOFCo-EFS of Ohio in the DoE SECA program for years, but SOFCo was purchase last year by Rolls Royce Fuel Cells.

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