Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have signed a three-way agreement under which the companies will jointly develop fuel cell electric vehicle technology.
Powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen, FCEVs emit only water while driving, the companies said in a joint statement.
The manufacturers intend to work together on development of a common fuel cell electric vehicle system, which will reduce investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology, the companies said in a joint statement. Each company will invest equally towards the project.
The electricity for an FCEV is produced in the vehicle’s fuel cell stack, where it is generated following an electro-chemical reaction between hydrogen – stored in a high-pressure tank in the car – and oxygen from the air. The only by-products are water vapor and heat, the companies said.
The goal is to develop a fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that can be used by each of the companies in the launch of differentiated, separately branded FCEVs.
Working together, they said, will help maximize design commonality, which the companies believe will spur interest among component suppliers. They also believe the partnership will catch the eye of policymakers.
Ultimately, the group hopes the project will contribute to launch of mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017.
Together, Daimler, Ford and Nissan have more than 60 years of cumulative experience developing FCEVs, according the statement. Their FCEVs have logged more than 10 million kilometers in global test drives with customers and in demonstration projects.