Ford Motor Company, Daimier AG, and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. are collaborating together on fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology development. Not surprisingly, this announcement comes a few days after Toyota and BMW penned a similar deal.
“Fuel cell electric vehicles are the obvious next step to compliment today’s battery electric vehicles as our industry embraces more sustainable transportation,” said Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Vice-President of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., supervising Research and Development. “We look forward to a future where we can answer many customer need by adding FCEVs on the top of battery EVs within the zero-emission lineup.”
With this partnership, the American, German, and Japanese auto companies aim to mutually develop a common fuel cell electric vehicle system while reducing the investment costs associated with FCEV technology development. Each company will equally contribute time and resources into the project. The three partners are also studying the joint development of other FCEV components to generate even more powerful and efficient fuel cell groupings.
All three automakers have thorough backgrounds in fuel cell technology development, with over 60 years of combined experience. By using data accumulated from 10 million km driven by FCEVs, the partners plan to develop a common fuel cell stack and system that will produce zero CO2 emissions, with the only by-products of the FCEVs being water vapor and heat.
FCEVs generate power in the car’s fuel stack. Within this device, energy is generated by multiple fuel cells, where an electro-chemical reaction occurs between hydrogen stored in a pressurized tank, and oxygen taken from the air.
“We are convinced that fuel cells vehicles will play a central role for zero-emissions mobility in the future… This means with this cooperation we will make this technology available for many customers around the globe,” said Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimier AG, Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
With this agreement, this auto triumvirate hopes to launch the first affordable, mass-market FCEV as early as 2017, two years later than the proposed fuel cell sedan debut by the Toyota-BMW union.