While BMW and Toyota have their own agreement towards joint development of fuel cell systems, Daimler, Ford and Nissan have now penned an agreement to jointly develop a fuel cell system, reducing investment costs with an aim to bring to the mass market affordable zero emission vehicles by 2017.
Zero emission vehicles include the battery operated kind as well as the fuel cell powered vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles are more ‘zero-emission’ than the battery equipped vehicles which get their energy from thermal power plants or nuclear power plants whereas the FCEVs are self sufficient system that use hydrogen to generate electricity using a fuel cell stack that is used to charge the battery and power the automobile.
Each company will invest equally towards the project. The three brands have a collective 10 million kilometres in test drives of their FCEVs. In the press release issued yesterday they are quick to point out that the agreement will push policy makers to build the infrastructure required for hydrogen powered vehicles. “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.” it said in the press release.
“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. “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.”
“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.
“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. “We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone.”