UK-based Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation have created SMILE FC System Corporation, a joint venture company to develop and manufacture air-cooled fuel cell systems for a range of industry sectors.
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.
Under the terms of the contract, both companies will take a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. SMILE FC System Corporation will be led by Mr. Osamu Honda, Executive Vice President and representative director for Suzuki Motor Corporation, who will become President of the JV.
SMILE FC System Corporation will be headquartered in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka, with operations initially based in Yokohama.
The agreement represents good value for both parties, enabling Suzuki cost-effective access to Intelligent Energy’s advanced fuel cell technology through partnering and licensing, thereby avoiding the higher costs associated with in-house development.
Intelligent Energy will benefit from Suzuki’s production expertise and the emerging Japanese supply chain to jointly develop the next generation of automotive standard air-cooled fuel cell systems.
Equipped with Intelligent Energy’s air-cooled fuel cells, the Crosscage and Burgman motorcycles were exhibited at the 2007 and 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, and in 2011, the Fuel Cell Burgman Scooter became the world’s first fuel cell vehicle to achieve European Union Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA).