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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class

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The all-new G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show in G550 form. Completely redeveloped and fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo gasoline engine offering 427ps and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm to 4,750rpm, despite near-identical looks to its predecessor plenty has changed for the Mercedes-Benz SUV.


Ford’s F150 pickup gets its first diesel motor

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Developed by the powertrain team behind the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine for super duty trucks, the all-new 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke unit promises 250ps, 440 lb-ft of torque, and an anticipated 5175kg of towing capacity.


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In light of Fisker's solid-state battery breakthrough and claims of a one minute charge time, will this electric vehicle technology development kick-start mass BEV uptake? 

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Fuel cell JV formed by Intelligent Energy and the Suzuki

Intelligent Energy and the Suzuki Motor Corporation have announced the creation of a joint venture company called SMILE FC System Corporation, which aims to develop and manufacture air-cooled fuel cell systems for a range of industry sectors. The JV will also includes a non-exclusive license agreement that gives Suzuki access to Intelligent Energy’s advanced fuel cell technology for its next generation of fuel cell vehicles.

Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will take a 50% stake in the joint venture. SMILE FC System Corporation will be led by Osamu Honda, executive vice president and representative director for Suzuki Motor Corporation, who will become president of the JV. SMILE will be headquartered in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka, with operations initially based in Yokohama.

“Suzuki Motor Corporation has been developing fuel cell vehicles with Intelligent Energy since 2006, and this successful relationship has led to the formation of SMILE FC System Corporation,” explained Honda. “I believe that we can accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles through this joint venture with Intelligent Energy.”

Commentators say that 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.

Phil Caldwell, newly appointed board member of SMILE FC System Corporation and business development director at Intelligent Energy commented, “This joint venture is the latest exciting development in the successful relationship between Intelligent Energy and Suzuki, which has previously resulted in the Crosscage motorcycle and the Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter. It is a big step towards the mass production of automotive 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).

“Combining Intelligent Energy’s market-leading fuel cell system technology with Suzuki’s mass production capabilities and supply chain excellence will accelerate the deployment, long term scalability and applicability of fuel cells for the next generation of eco cars, and other market segments,” explained Dr Henri Winand, Chief Executive, Intelligent Energy. “This non-exclusive agreement with the Suzuki Motor Corporation also provides further validation of our ‘design once, deploy many times’ proprietary technology and mutually beneficial partnering business model.”

15 February 2012


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