- Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., have signed a unique three-way agreement for the joint development of common fuel cell system to speed up availability of zero-emission technology and significantly reduce investment costs
- Collaboration expected to lead to launch of world's first affordable, mass-market fuel cell electric vehicles as early as 2017
- Unique collaboration across three continents and three companies will help define global specifications and component standards
- Sends clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage the further development of hydrogen infrastructure worldwide
YOKOHAMA, Japan - Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., have signed a unique three-way agreement to accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology.
The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop a common fuel cell electric vehicle system while reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology. Each company will invest equally towards the project. The strategy to maximize design commonality, leverage volume and derive efficiencies through economies of scale will help to launch the world's first affordable, mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017.
Together, Daimler, Ford and Nissan have more than 60 years of cumulative experience developing FCEVs. Their FCEVs have logged more than 10 million km in test drives around the world in customers' hands and as part of demonstration projects in diverse conditions. The partners plan to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that can be used by each company in the launch of highly differentiated, separately branded FCEVs, which produce no CO2 emissions while driving.
The collaboration sends a clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage further development of hydrogen refueling stations and other infrastructure necessary to allow the vehicles to be mass-marketed.
Powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen, FCEVs emit only water while driving. FCEVs are considered complementary to today's battery-electric vehicles and will help expand the range of zero-emission transportation options available to consumers.
"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., supervising Research and Development. "We look forward to a future where we can answer many customer needs by adding FCEVs on top of battery EVs within the zero-emission lineup."
"We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will play a central role for zero-emission mobility in the future. Thanks to the high commitment of all three partners we can put fuel cell e-mobility on a broader basis. This means with this cooperation we will make this technology available for many customers around the globe," said Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
"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. "We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone."
Engineering work on both the fuel cell stack and the fuel cell system will be done jointly by the three companies at several locations around the world. The partners are also studying the joint development of other FCEV components to generate even further synergies.
The unique collaboration across three continents and three companies will help define global specifications and component standards, an important prerequisite for achieving higher economies of scale.
How a fuel cell electric vehicle works
Like today's battery-electric vehicles, FCEVs are more efficient than conventional cars and diversify energy sources beyond petroleum.
The electricity for an FCEV is produced on board the vehicle in the fuel cell stack where it is generated following an electro-chemical reaction between hydrogen - stored in a purpose-designed, high-pressure tank in the car - and oxygen from the air. The only by-products are water vapor and heat.
About the companies:
Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automobile companies. With its Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services divisions, the vehicle manufacturer is one of the largest producers of premium cars and the largest globally operative manufacturer of commercial vehicles. Daimler Financial Services offers financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance and innovative mobility solutions. The company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history by inventing the automobile in 1886. As a pioneer of vehicle manufacturing, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility. To this end it deploys innovative and green technologies and designs safe, high-quality vehicles which exude a very special fascination. For many years now, Daimler has been investing consistently in the development of alternative drives in pursuit of the long-term aim of zero-emission driving. Alongside hybrid vehicles, these ongoing efforts enable Daimler to offer the broadest range of battery- and fuel cell-powered local emission-free electric vehicles. Daimler is committed to championing a responsible approach in the interests of society and the environment. Daimler markets its vehicles and services in virtually every country throughout the world and has production facilities on five continents. In addition to Mercedes-Benz, the world's most valuable premium automobile brand, today's brand portfolio also includes smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges (stock exchange abbreviation DAI). Group sales totaled 2.1 million vehicles in 2011, with a workforce of more than 271,000. Revenue stood at €106.5 billion and EBIT totaled €8.8 billion.
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.8 million vehicles in 2011, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($118.95 billion U.S.). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards. Visit www.nissan-global.com/EN/ for more about Nissan's products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility.
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