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Published on September 18th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz


Mitsubishi Adopts Fuel Cell Unit for Electric Wheelchairs

September 18th, 2008 by  

Last week, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical exhibited a fuel cell-based power supply unit that is small enough to be used in an electric wheelchair. The microwave oven-sized unit, which weighs 22 kg, has an output of 300W and can run for eight hours with a 4-liter fuel tank. Hitachi exhibited a similar power supply unit in July, but it only had an output of 100W with a running time of 2.5 hours.

Interestingly, Mitsubishi and Suzuki are jointly promoting the development of an electric wheelchair using the fuel cell unit. The long-lasting fuel cell provides an advantage over traditional rechargeable batteries, which are prone to exhaustion. Wheelchairs only require a 300W unit since they move relatively slowly.

The electric wheelchair/fuel cell combo is still in testing stages, but look for it on the market in the near future.

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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