Airports

FuelRod targets power-hungry passengers

08 November 2017

US firm Tricopian has expanded its network of airports to adopt its FuelRod mobile charging service.

FuelRod SwapBox Kiosks allow users to simply exchange their electronic device chargers for fully charged, ready-to-use, mobile charger kits, which include a company-developed FuelRod lithium battery recharger, cables, and adapters. The rechargeable FuelRod units deliver up to eight hours of talk time for an Apple or Android smartphone or nearly four hours of usage for an average tablet, according to the company.

FuelRod mobile charging devices have been installed at 28 US airports. (Ramon Lopez)FuelRod mobile charging devices have been installed at 28 US airports. (Ramon Lopez)

Tricopian believes the service is particularly valuable at airports with scarce electrical wall outlets and crowded charging stations. By the end of September, the service was available at 28 US international airports, such as San Diego (the launch customer), Raleigh-Durham, Washington Dulles, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis-St Paul International, as well as three airports in Switzerland.

A FuelRod kit costs USD20.00 and can be exchanged at any SwapBox Kiosk. Once the battery is depleted, the FuelRod module can be swapped for a fresh, fully charged replacement rod. Alternatively, the FuelRod module can be recharged by using any standard USB adapter. Recharging takes five to six hours.

Speaking to Jane’s in September during the ACI-NA annual conference and exhibition in Fort Worth, FuelRod co-founder Joe Yeagley explained that not all lithium battery rechargers are the same. FuelRod modules stay fully charged for eight months, he added, while units purchased at retail outlets last an average of only six weeks.

Yeagley admitted that SwapBox Kiosks must be installed at many airports if FuelRod is to take off. “The more machines I have in the network, the more valuable the recharger exchange business will be. I need more machines to build the business. That’s the heart of it.”

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