Suzuki is once again dipping their toes inside the fuel cell vehicle market by testing the SX4 FCV on the roadways of Japan. In 2005, the Suzuki Ionis hydrogen fuel cell vehicle was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show. Then in October 2007, the Suzuki Crosscage hydrogen fuel cell motorcycle was unveiled, also in Tokyo and the announcement was made that British company Intelligent Energy was supplying the FC.
For the Suzuki SX4 FCV, General Motors is supplying the 80kw fuel cell. The Suzuki SX4 FCV also comes with a 68 kw electric motor, a 10,000 psi compressed hydrogen tank that will help the vehicle achieve a range of 150 miles and a top speed of around 75 mph.
Fitted with a small capacitor, the SX4 FCV has been certified by the Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). This means Suzuki can now conduct road tests with the goal of future commercialization of the vehicle.
One may wonder about the limited range and top end speed of the Suzuki SX4 FCV compared to other fuel cell vehicles, but you have to remember that this vehicle is based upon the compact Suzuki SX4 gasoline-powered vehicle where space is at a premium and the engine has a comparable output to the KW’s generated by the fuel cell and electric motor.
Suzuki may just be the dark horse in the fuel cell vehicle market race by developing vehicles on several different fronts to compete with the bigger players such as GM and Honda.