Together, the three car makers plan to develop a common fuel cell system to be used in what they describe as “highly differentiated, separately branded fuel cell electric vehicles” as early as 2017.
The companies say they plan to help define global specifications, component standards and develop the infrastructure solutions necessary to allow fuel-cell electric vehicles to be mass-marketed.
Powered by electricity from hydrogen and oxygen, fuel-cell electric vehicles emit only water while driving. Electricity used to power electric motors is produced on-board in the fuel cell stack where it is generated following an electro-chemical reaction between hydrogen, which is stored in a high-pressure tank, and oxygen from the air.
“We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will play a central role for zero-emission mobility in the future. This co-operation will make technology available for many customers around the globe,” said Thomas Weber, head of R&D at Daimler, at today’s announcement.
Confirmation of the partnership between Ford, Nissan and Daimler for fuel-cell electric vehicle technology comes less than a week after BMW and Toyota announced they had entered into a similar joint venture.