Ford, Daimler, and Nissan Teams Up to Launch New Fuel Cell Cars by 2017


The three leading automakers today stated that the new alliance will send a clear message to the policy makers, suppliers, and the auto industry to further promote the cause of developing hydrogen infrastructure across the world. The new venture to launch and market fuel cell cars will be the first-of-its-kind major advancement in the process of developing “zero-emission” technology. Talking about the partnership, Thomas Weber, Chief of Daimler AG Research and Development, said that the giant automaker was never as close in reaching the breaking point for advanced fuel cell cars as they are today with this new partnership with Ford and Nissan.

Daimler, renowned for its most advanced and expensive hydrogen-powered car technologies, stated under a partnership contract announced this Monday that they will pool an investment with Nissan and Ford for this new effort, with definitive deliverables by 2017. The fuel cell car R&D program is expected to cut the cost of the technology and launch the first-ever fuel cell vehicles into the market by 2017. Simultaneously, Daimler is leveraging its lead on this advanced technology, with higher sales volume of Nissan and Ford to initiate a strong business model, and faster implementation by spreading the cost of development across the three companies.

The fuel cells generate electricity by blending oxygen and hydrogen, evaporating the water as fuel emission when the vehicle is driven. As compared to the electric counterparts, which are majorly powered by batteries, the fuel cell vehicles present a range which is close to most of the combustion engine vehicles, and the fueling time is compared to the time to fill a gasoline tank.
Each of the three companies will market their individual branded vehicles, starting off with front-wheel drive models. As stated by Weber, the partnership is also open to other auto manufacturers, which also includes Renault SA, the French alliance partner of Nissan.