Automotive manufacturers Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., announced that they are collaborating to further develop fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). This unique joint venture will bring about the first affordable, mass-market fuel cell electric vehicles by 2017. The zero-emission technology will reduce investment costs associated with engineering. As the cars are mass produced and less costly to make, this also lowers the cost of the sales price.
The three companies, in their partnership are working towards the development of a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that produce no CO2 emissions while driving. Each company will have their own branded FCEVs. "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.
Daimler, Ford and Nissan are equally investing in the project and have a combined total of over 60 years of experience developing FCEVs. All three manufacturers will perform engineering work at several locations around the world. Similar to battery electric cars, FCEV's are more efficient than conventional cars and use alternative energy sources besides oil. The only by-products are water vapor and heat, as the electricity produced in a fuel stack is the catalyst for and electro chemical reaction between hydrogen stored within a tank in the car and oxygen from the air. Only water is emitted while driving, as electricity used to power the vehicle is generated from hydrogen and oxygen. "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.
Honda produced the first hydrogen powered FCEV vehicle in 2008, but the leasing cost was not economical at a price of $600/month for three years. With the teaming up of three major car manufacturers, productivity in the terms of and mass-production and technological study will benefit greatly. With the mass production of these energy efficient vehicles, consumers will be offered a much cheaper alternative.