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Mass-Produced Fuel Cell Vehicles Soon?

January 31st, 2013
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect:  An article in the electonic technology magazine gizmag reports that major automobile manufacturers Daimler, Ford and Nissan are planning to mass-produce and market fuel cell powered electric vehicles by 2017.  The current prototype of the 2017 power system is shown below.

Click on picture for larger image.

fuelcelldaimlerfordnissan2017

Follow up:

The summary points of the announced agreement:

  • 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.

The design of the new fuel cell power system differs greatly from that current in use by Daimler, which design conforms to the ICE (internal combustion engine) space form factor design criteria of current ICE (internal combustion engine) cars.  See below.

fuelcellmercedesbenz2013

Here is the full press release:

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.

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.


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.

Read GEI News articles on hydrogen and fuel cells here and here.

Sources:









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