Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., have announced plans to collaborate on developing the world’s first affordable, mass-market fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology by 2017.
The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop a common fuel cell electric vehicle system, while also reducing the investment costs that are associated with engineering the technology. Each company will invest equally towards the project. Engineering work on both the fuel cell stack and the fuel cell system will be done jointly by the three companies at several locations around the world.
Together, Daimler, Ford, and Nissan have more than 60 years of cumulative experience developing FCEVs. Their FCEVs have logged more than 6 million miles in test drives around the world in customers’ hands, and as part of demonstration projects in diverse conditions. The three companies claim, however, that this collaboration will be unique, and will result in the first widely-available FCEVs in the world.
The three partners plan on developing a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system. Each company will produce and sell their own unique vehicles, but ultimately share this common fuel cell technology.
The collaboration sends a clear signal to suppliers, policymakers, and the industry to encourage further development of hydrogen refueling stations and other infrastructure necessary to allow the vehicles to be mass-marketed.
From left to right: Raj Nair, group vice president of global product development at Ford Motor Company; Professor Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, supervising group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development; and Mitsuhiko Yamashita, member of the Board of Directors and executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., supervising research and development. Credit: Ford Motor Company.
Powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen, FCEVs emit only water while driving. FCEVs are considered complementary to today’s battery-electric vehicles and will help expand the range of zero-emission transportation options available to consumers.
“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.
Professor Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, supervising group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development, also commented.
“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, which will make this technology available for many customers around the globe,” he said.
“Working together will significantly help speed this technology to market at a more affordable cost to our customers,” said Raj Nair, group vice president of global product development at Ford Motor Company. “We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone.”