Suzuki shows off two fuel-cell vehicles

Suzuki unveils the SX-4-based FCV and the Crosscage at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

Suzuki FCV
The new Suzuki FCV is built on the SX-4 platform. CBS Interactive

Suzuki showed off a couple of hydrogen-powered vehicles at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. One was based on the relatively new SX-4 model, and the other, in good Suzuki style, was a motorcycle concept called the Crosscage. Both vehicles use electric motors to drive their wheels, and fuel cells combining hydrogen and oxygen to generate the electricity to run those motors. Suzuki has previously built three fuel cell vehicles based on different models.

The base SX-4 is a small, all-wheel-drive car with an economical engine. As the current Suzuki FCV, it gets a 68 kilowatt motor which most likely only drives the front wheels. Its fuel cell was developed in conjunction with GM, and its hydrogen is stored in a 10,000 psi tank. The most innovative thing about this fuel-cell powertrain is that it uses a capacitor to store energy, allowing for quick discharge to the motors, taking pressure off of the fuel cell. With a full tank of hydrogen, the Suzuki FCV can go 155 miles and achieve a top speed of 93 mph.

Suzuki Crosscage
This Suzuki bike carries a pressurized hydrogen tank. CBS Interactive

With the Crosscage, the hydrogen tank doesn't go where the gas tank would normally be, instead being placed in the middle of the bike for better safety. This tank stores hydrogen at 5,000 psi and is mounted between the fuel cell and a lithium ion battery. These components generate and store electricity to power the electric motor that drives the rear wheel. The Crosscage has a range of 125 miles. Both vehicles were built for research, and Suzuki has no current plans for production.

See all coverage of the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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