Ford, Renault-Nissan and Dailmer join forces.
Ford has joined up with Renault-Nissan and Daimler to develop a fuel cell system to speed up zero-emission vehicle introduction
Ford has joined with its European and Asian brothers, Renault-Nissan and Daimler to jointly develop a fuel cell system with the aim to speed up the introduction of zero-emission vehicles. The automakers aim to introduce 'the worlds first affordable, mass market fuel cell car' by 2017. Fuel cell electric vehicles generate their power from hydrogen and oxygen, and emit only water. A common hydrogen electric fuel system will be created that will be used in a range of vehicles.
The three automakers have also said they want to encourage others to push on with developing the necessary refuelling stations. A spokesperson for Ford has said: "Working together will significantly help speed this technology to market at a more affordable cost to our customers. We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone. We hope that this cooperation will help define global specifications and component standards, an important prerequisite for achieving higher economies of scale".
Dr Anthony Baxendale, manager of Future Transport Technologies & Research at Mira Ltd, a UK firm focusing on creating advanced vehicle and systems technology has said that the concept of a fuel cell vehicle has been in the works for a while. Dr Baxendale said: "But the main problem in the past had been how to get production volumes up in order to get prices down. The production cost until now has been prohibitive, so by collaborating and joining forces they will be hoping to accelerate development. The technology is there - it has been the costs that have not been viable until now.
The time is right too - it plugs into a growing market for electric cars". Co-operation between major international automobile companies is becoming increasingly common, despite their competitiveness on the sales side of business. Renault-Nissan and Daimler have been working together since 2010 and last year, they announced an engine-sharing agreement. The fuel cell development work will use existing facilities, including the site of a joint venture between Daimler and Ford to develop fuel cells in Canada.
BMW and Toyota are also working together on electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel technology
BMW and Toyota are also working in cooperation on electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technology, and many in the auto industry expect these two additional automakers to join the pact between Ford, Renault-Nissan and Daimler.