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SMILE FC ready-to-scale fuel cells production plant in Yokohama, Japan

Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation announce completion of ready-to-scale fuel cell production line in Japan

Joint Venture celebrates first anniversary with Air Cooled Fuel Cell engine production plant

London, UK – 20 February 2013 – SMILE FC System Corporation (SMILE FC), a joint venture between Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation has successfully established a ready-to-scale production plant for its fuel cell systems in Yokohama, Japan. 

The production line marks the successful transfer of proven semi-automated production technology, developed and utilised by Intelligent Energy, the global power technology company that was originally a spin-out from Loughborough University.  This 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.

The manufacturing centre will be scaled up to supply fuel cell stacks for integration with Suzuki vehicles. The joint venture has access to Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell technology under a non-exclusive licence, thereby accelerating the commercialisation of Suzuki’s fuel cell vehicles.

Mr Osamu Honda, President of SMILE FC and Executive Vice President, Suzuki Motor Corporation said:  “We are delighted to achieve such a significant milestone just one year after the establishment of the JV.  It brings us closer to delivering on our commitment to achieve efficient and cost-effective production of fuel cell systems for integration into clean energy vehicles.”

Dr Henri Winand, Chief Executive at Intelligent Energy, noted:  “Fuel cell systems provide one of the best solutions to reducing carbon emissions from vehicles.  The Yokohama production line is testament to the rigorous, results-oriented collaboration between Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation – one that brings us a step closer to the commercialisation of fuel cell electric vehicles.  This demonstrates how our focused commercial approach accelerates and de-risks our partners and customers’ deployment plans.”

Headquartered at Suzuki HQ in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka, 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.  This will drive benefits such as early volume production, economies of scale and avoiding the higher costs associated with in-house development. 


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/24

About Intelligent Energy
Intelligent Energy delivers efficient and clean energy technology for the global consumer electronics, automotive and stationary power markets – from compact energy packs for mobile devices, to power-trains for zero-emission vehicles, and stationary power units for the always-on infrastructure.

Founded on Loughborough University’s fuel cell research, the company employs 225 staff at its base on the University’s Science and Enterprise Park.  Intelligent Energy is valued at $0.5 billion and operates globally, with offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

More information on Intelligent Energy is available at Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


Anna Leather
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445

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