Suzuki Motor Corporation will establish a joint venture company, SMILE FC System Corporation (SMILE FC), for developing and manufacturing fuel cell system with Intelligent Energy Holdings PLC (IEH) of UK, a company which retains an affiliate company, Intelligent Energy Ltd. (IE), that develops the fuel cell system.
Suzuki and IE have been developing fuel cell vehicles such as by exhibiting co-developed motorcycles equipped with air-cooled fuel cell system at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, and earning Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) in March 2011 for Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter, the world's first fuel cell vehicle to earn it.
The investment rates for SMILE FC will be 50% for both companies. The headquarters will be located within 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 can be characterized with its lightness, compactness, and potential for cost reduction, Suzuki and IE, 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.
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