What do Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. and IBM Japan have in common? Well, they are both now collaborating on the development of a new micro direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), which is destined to go in IBM's ThinkPad notebooks. Ready for delivery hopefully as soon as 2007, the new system awaits changes in the law that will make the use of direct methanol fuel cells easier. Currently, there are problems taking methanol onboard aircraft, for example.

"As a rechargeable manufacturer, we believe that a fuel cell system should have a rechargeable battery by announcing the hybrid system of a lithium-ion battery with fuel cell. This is not the final form at all. Our target is to supply power anywhere. To realize it, hybrid should be the key technology." - Mitsuru Honma, president of Sanyo Mobile Energy Company.