Daimler, Ford and Nissan have signed a three-way agreement to accelerate the development of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology.
The aim of the collaboration is share the development cost and to maximise design efficiencies through economies of scale. Each company will invest equally towards the project, which has a goal of launching the world’s first mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017.
“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, executive vice-president of Nissan.
“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.”
Together, Daimler, Ford and Nissan, which have logged more than 10 million kilometres in FCEV test drives, plan to develop a common fuel cell stack that produce no CO2 emissions while driving.
“We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will play a central role for zero-emission mobility in the future,” said professor Thomas Weber, a member of the Daimler board of management. “This cooperation we will make this technology available for many customers around the globe.”
Raj Nair, group vice-president, global product development at Ford, agreed, adding: “We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone.”