Monday, 27 February 2012


Suzuki Motor Corporation is to establish a joint venture company, SMILE FC System Corporation (SMILE FC), for developing and manufacturing fuel cell systems with Intelligent Energy Holdings PLC (IEH) of the UK.

The latter will retain an affiliate company, Intelligent Energy Ltd. (IE), that will develop the fuel cell system.

Suzuki and IE have been developing fuel cell vehicles such as the co-developed motorcycles equipped with air-cooled fuel cell system exhibited at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Tokyo Motor Shows, and earning Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) in March 2011 for the Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter, the world’s first fuel cell vehicle to earn it.

In order to officially develop and manufacture one of the next-generation environmental vehicles – a motorcycle and an automobile equipped with fuel cell systems – Suzuki has established a joint venture company, SMILE FC, from this month for developing and manufacturing fuel cell system with IEH.

It will seek to speed up the commercialisation of products by combining the fuel cell development technology of IE, and control and mass-production technologies of Suzuki.

The investment rates for SMILE FC is 50% for both companies. The headquarters will be located within the Suzuki headquarters in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and its research facility will be located at Suzuki’s Yokohama Laboratory.
Beginning with the air-cooled fuel cell system, which is characterised by its low mass, compact form factor and potential for cost reduction, Suzuki and IE, with SMILE FC at the core, will work on developing mass-production technology and the manufacturing of fuel cells, as well as exploiting the global supply chain of fuel cell parts, and promoting the fuel cell vehicles.


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