Ford, Nissan, Daimler team up for common fuel cell system development
The race is on to produce fuel-cell-powered automobiles.
Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG on Monday announced an agreement develop a common automobile fuel cell system, which is expected to lead the launch of the world's first mass-market fuel-cell vehicles by 2017.
The automakers said Monday they will collaborate on a global program across three continents in an effort to signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry the seriousness of developing an emission-free technology.
Ford, Nissan and Daimler expect to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system and anticipate lower development costs as a result of the collaboration.
The announcement comes days after BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to develop components for fuel-cell vehicles.
The two companies last week confirmed plans to develop a fuel-cell vehicle system, including a fuel cell stack and system, a hydrogen tank, motor and battery by 2020.
In fuel-cell vehicles, the fuel cell stack converts hydrogen gas with oxygen into electricity to power an electric motor. Fuel-cell vehicles emit only heat and water, but production costs, storage systems, public acceptance and durability remain major hurdles for automakers.
And much like other forms of alternative energy, a lack of hydrogen refueling stations could prolong the time needed to bring fuel-cell vehicles to the mass market.