It was only a year ago that Suzuki Motor Corporation (7269:JP) started a joint venture to develop hydrogen fuel-cell systems for vehicles, and now it’s starting production.
In cooperation with UK-based Intelligence Energy, Suzuki’s SMILE FC this week cut the red tape on their first small-scale production facility for manufacturing air-cooled fuel cell systems and revolutionizing the hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle.
This is a major step towards the efficient and cost-effective production of fuel cell systems for clean energy vehicles.
Next to come is a larger-scale production line to further commercialization of the product.
According to an Intelligent Energy press release, “the partnership, materialized through SMILE FC System Corporation, represents the next stage in high volume production of fuel cell systems with associated reduction of manufacturing and assembly costs as well as improved cycle times and enhanced product quality.”
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The production line is in Yokohama, Japan, and the end product promises to be affordable. The production line uses semi-automated technology developed by Intelligent Energy.
Who else is in on the game? Toyota, BMW, Daimler, Ford and Nissan. They’re behind Suzuki, however, with 2015 as a target date for the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. BMW and Toyota are collaborating to develop fuel cell systems, while Daimler, Ford and Nissan have a three-way deal to commercialize their own fuel cell electric vehicle technology.
What this joining of forces among some of the car industry’s top forces suggests is that they see a future in electric vehicles—even if the market doesn’t see it just yet.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com