Ford, Nissan, Daimler AG Agree To ‘Unique’ Three-Way Agreement To Launch First Affordable Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles By 2017

Jan 28, 2013 03:19 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motor Co., and Daimler AG have agreed to a three-way agreement to "accelerate the commercialization" of fuel cell electric vehicles. The companies released a joint press release to announce the news.

The companies are hoping to jointly develop common a fuel cell electric vehicle system while still reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology Ford stated. The three companies will invest equally towards the project.

"Fuel cell electric vehicles are the obvious next step to complement 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 in the press release.  "We look forward to a future where we can answer many customer needs by adding FCEVs on top of battery EVs within the zero-emission lineup."

Each company has more than 60 years of cumulative experience developing FCEVs according to the press release.

Their FCEVs have each logged over 10 million km in test driver around the globe and in all kinds of diverse conditions. The companies plan to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that can then be used by each respective company to launch separately branded FCEVs, which also don't produce CO2 while the vehicle is in drive.

"We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will play a central role for zero-emission mobility in the future. Thanks to the high commitment of all three partners we can put fuel cell e-mobility on a broader basis. 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 Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development in the press release.

FCEVs only release water while driving, and they're powered specific by electric energy generated from hydrogen and oxygen according to Ford. Work for each company will be completed in three continents to help "define global specifications and component standards" to understand and achieve important requirements for higher economies of scale according to the press release.

The combined effort clearly sends a message to suppliers and the rest of the industry that automotive companies should be doing all they can towards the development of hydrogen refueling stations.

"Working together will significantly help speed this technology to market at a more affordable cost to our customers," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company in the press release. "We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone."

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