Suzuki and U.K. partner ready to scale up fuel-cell production

  • 21-Feb-2013 04:09 EST

Suzuki and Intelligent Energy executives with a fuel-cell-powered Suzuki Burgman scooter cutaway, showing propulsion system components. Note the low-central location of the hydrogen storage pressure tank.

SMILE FC System Corp. (“SMILE FC”), a joint venture between U.K.-based Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corp. has established a ready-to-scale production plant for its fuel-cell systems in Yokohama, Japan. The manufacturing center will be scaled up to supply fuel-cell stacks for integration with as-yet unnamed Suzuki vehicles. No information was available from Suzuki on its fuel-cell-vehicle plans, but an Intelligent Energy spokesman told AEI that work to date has focused on two-wheelers.The new production line marks the successful transfer of proven semi-automated production technology, developed and utilized by Intelligent Energy. Expected are reduced manufacturing and assembly costs, as well as improved cycle times and enhanced product quality. SMILE FC was created in February 2012 to develop and manufacture air-cooled fuel cell systems for a range of industry sectors including automotive. The joint venture provides Suzuki with access to Intelligent Energy’s air-cooled fuel-cell technology through partnering and licensing.

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