A new threesome has formed: Daimler, Nissan and Ford have agreed on a partnership to accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicle technology. That's good news for alternative engine technology since it seems obvious that there is a limit to the number of huge Lithium-Ion Batteries that can be put on the highways of the world.
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 is supposed to send a 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. 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 looking into the joint development of other FCEV components.
The collaboration across three continents and three companies will help define global specifications and component standards, the three management teams hope - and that is an important prerequisite for achieving higher economies of scale.