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VIASPACE CEO Comments on Current Orders in the Potential Billion Dollar Fuel Cell Cartridge Business
Jul 29, 2008 (08:07 AM EDT)
PASADENA, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VIASPACE Inc. today provided comments on the company's plan for success for fuel cell cartridges which VIASPACE's subsidiary, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Corporation ("DMFCC"), is pursuing. VIASPACE and DMFCC CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, stated, "Fuel cartridges are the consumable in the portable fuel cell business. Your future notebook computer or mobile phone powered by a fuel-cell will consume two to four disposable fuel cartridges each month. Fuel cells are equivalent to a razor with fuel cartridges acting as the razor blades, or a computer printer with disposable printer cartridges. Currently DMFCC had multiple orders for development of fuel cartridges from fuel-cell developers and OEMs. We are helping to build this new industry that, while it does not exist today, has the potential to produce tens of billions of dollars in revenue over the next five years."
"An article yesterday in Computerworld provides additional support. Excerpts are provided below."
Beyond batteries: fuel cells are the future Methanol is tipped to replace Lithium as laptops' power source By Brian Nadel Framingham | Monday, 28 July, 2008
Whether you're talking on a cellphone, listening to tunes on a media player or typing on a notebook, it's a good bet that the device's battery won't last as long as you'd like. However, that will change over the next few years, as fuel cells designed to power mobile gear start to become common. For the past decade, direct methanol fuel cells have seemed to be tantalizingly close to commercialization, but they never quite made it to market. In particular, direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) will deliver as much as 10 hours of power using a thimbleful of methanol -- that's two to three times the life of current laptop batteries. Finally, they really do appear ready, with several major manufacturers of batteries, fuel cells and mobile devices saying that 2009 will be the start of the fuel-cell era ...
... Here's the lowdown on this promising technology, how it will affect your mobile lifestyle and when you likely will be able to use it.
... "The transition to fuel cells has already started, although it won't happen overnight," says Sara Bradford, principal consultant for the energy and power systems group at market analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. She points out that the first external fuel-cell power packs are just hitting the market ...
... "Next year, look for a smart phone that has a fuel-cell option," says Sean Collins, vice president for business development at Toshiba America Electronic Components. While the engineering and marketing details haven't been worked out, Collins adds that several phone makers are looking to sell products with a traditional battery as well as an optional fuel cell that fits in the same space ... .
... Besides improving technology, another factor that should spur adoption of fuel cells is the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Today, fuel cells and methanol are big no-nos on planes, but that will change in October, when the FAA will start allowing travelers to bring fuel cells on board airliners along with two refills of methanol ...
... Because fuel cells will soon be able to go anywhere users go, sales are forecast to grow quickly. Frost & Sullivan's Bradford thinks that by 2012, 80 million micro fuel cells will be sold to power notebooks, cellphones, media players and other portable devices. That's up from 1 million fuel cells shipped in 2007 and a projected 25 million fuel cells in 2010 ... .
... A glimpse of the (near) future
Fast-forward to a business traveler on her way to Asia with a notebook full of work to do. Before getting on the plane, she stops at an airport convenience store to buy two methanol refill cartridges for her notebook and stashes them in her bag.
On the 15-hour flight, she puts the finishing touches on her presentation, clears out a backlog of emails and writes a memo about a new product. Before settling down to watch a DVD or two, she gets a warning that her notebook's fuel cell is running low on fuel. After replacing its methanol tank with a fresh one, she enjoys a movie marathon for the rest of the flight without interruption. Such prolonged use of a laptop simply isn't possible today ...
Kukkonen concludes, "With the apparent introduction of fuel cells beginning, the disposable cartridge business will be bigger than the fuel cell business. Third party projections are for use of between 20 and 30 cartridges per notebook per year. The cartridge customer is the consumer who bought the fuel cell powered notebook computer, and now needs to buy cartridges in the aftermarket. That business potential exceeds several billion dollars per year. We feel that DMFCC is well-positioned to achieve a substantial portion of that potential market. The business has substantial risks, but potentially a very high payoff."
About VIASPACE: Originally founded in 1998 with the objective of transforming proven space and defense technologies from NASA and the Department of Defense into hardware and software solutions that solve today's complex problems, VIASPACE benefits from important patent and software licenses from Caltech, which manages NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, please visit our website at IR@VIASPACE.com, or contact for Investor Relations, Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications at 800-517-8050, or .
This news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward- looking statements relate to future events or our future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include the risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-KSB, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007, as well as general economic and business conditions, the ability to acquire and develop specific projects and technologies, the ability to fund operations, changes in consumer and business consumption habits, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.
Web site: http://www.VIASPACE.com/