The three way agreement will see the firms help each other develop fuel-cell powered electric vehicles, allowing costs to be reduced and – if all goes to plan – speeding up the availability of hydrogen-powered cars.
The trio are so confident that they suggest the collaboration could spawn its first ‘affordable, mass-market’ FCEV as early as 2017 – though there’s still no indication about how much such vehicles would cost to produce.
Similarly, there’s little detail about how any of the future vehicles will be produced – the agreement so far suggesting simply that the three equal investors will produce their own, ‘highly differentiated’ and ‘separately branded’ FCEVs all underpinned with the same core technology.
‘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, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Company, who will be 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.’
Raj Nair, group vice president of global product development at Ford Motor Company, 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.’