Beginning with the air-cooled fuel cell system, both the companies, with SMILE FC at the core, will work on developing mass-production technology and manufacturing of fuel cells, as well as exploiting the global supply chain of fuel cell parts, and familiarizing the fuel cell vehicles.
The joint venture also includes a non-exclusive license agreement that gives Suzuki access to Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell technology for its next generation of environmentally friendly fuel cell vehicles.
SMILE FC will be led by Osamu Honda, executive vice president and representative director for Suzuki Motor Corporation, who will become president of the JV. It will be headquartered in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka, with operations initially based in Yokohama.
Mr Honda said: “Suzuki Motor Corporation has been developing fuel cell vehicles with Intelligent Energy since 2006, and this successful relationship has led to the formation of SMILE FC System Corporation. I believe that we can accelerate the commercialisation of fuel cell vehicles through this joint venture with Intelligent Energy.”
Henri Winand, CEO of Intelligent Energy, said: “Combining Intelligent Energy’s market-leading fuel cell system technology with Suzuki’s mass production capabilities and supply chain excellence will accelerate the deployment, long term scalability and applicability of fuel cells for the next generation of eco cars, and other market segments. This non-exclusive agreement with the Suzuki Motor Corporation also provides further validation of our ‘design once, deploy many times’ proprietary technology and mutually beneficial partnering business model.”
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