Daimler, Ford, Nissan aim to develop affordable fuel cell vehicles by 2017
A new three-way collaboration to accelerate commercialization of fuel cell technology was announced on Monday in Yokohama Japan. The alliance brings together Daimler, Ford and Nissan and has the goal of launching the world's first affordable, mass-market fuel cell electric vehicles as early as 2017. This announcement follows last weeks tie-up between Toyota and BMW that includes fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) development.
An FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle) is an electric vehicle where a fuel cell provides the electricity to keep a small battery pack charged to power the vehicle. Fuel cells run on hydrogen and produce water vapor as the only exhaust, making FCEV's look like a great solution to the greenhouse gas implications of fossil fuel vehicles. What most skip over in this picture is that the majority of industrial hydrogen is extracted from natural gas, rather than from sunlight and water, which tarnishes the fuel cell clean image.
The companies, Daimler, Ford and Nissan, state their goal in collaborating is to develop a common fuel cell electric vehicle system while sharing costs between the companies. The primary result is expected to be a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system, which each of the three companies will integrate into their own vehicles. The three companies are to pony up equal investments, and aim to develop commonality, leveraging volume production, to tap into economies in scale.