Intelligent Energy and Suzuki “Rivaling” Toyota With New Fuel Cell Unit

Suzuki and Intelligent Energy new fuel cell 1 photo
Photo: Suzuki/Intelligent Energy
Toyota isn’t the only automaker to push the fuel cell technology into our life now as Intelligent Energy and Suzuki just finished developing a new compact fuel cell power unit at the 2014 Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan annual congress in Yokohama.
While Toyota’s fuel cell is designed to work best on a medium-size sedan, Intelligent Energy and Suzuki made one small enough to fit compact vehicles and even electric bikes.

Their Gen4 fuel cell unit can continuously operate at 3.9 kW and can provide in “excess” of 4 kW for short periods of time. Compared to Toyota’s over-100 kW unit, this sounds like it was made by kindergarteners to power some strollers...

But here’s the catch - it’s pretty obvious that their unit can’t handle the weight of a compact vehicle, but the the fuel cell comes with all the necessary ancillary components attached to it in order to enable vehicle manufacturers integrate it more easily into their products.

“Our new Gen4 fuel cell power unit will help vehicle manufacturers to save space, reduce weight and cost without compromising on performance. By making Gen4 available as a self-contained fuel cell power unit, we are able to offer new and existing customers a simple solution, reducing time to market for a broad range of zero-emission production vehicles without the high cost and risk associated with in-house development,” said managing director of Intelligent Energy, James Batchelor.

So what this means is that the Gen4 is more of a green range extender than a unit fully capable of powering a car alone. The two companies also announced they have established a production line for these portable generators and are ready to start manufacture them soon.

Nice try Suzuki, but our money remains on Toyota's FCV for now.
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