Daimler and Ford Unite to Spearhead Fuel Cell Technology

Nov. 7, 2007: Source – MSNBC

Detail - Daimler Fuel Cell Vehicle

Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company today announced a partnership in the formation of a new privately held company dedicated to developing automotive fuel cell technology. The new company is called Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) and includes a third partner, British Columbia-based Ballard Power Systems, known for its automotive hydrogen fuel cell business unit. Daimler’s ownership of AFCC will be the largest at 50.1 percent, followed by Ford at 30 percent, and Ballard retaining 19.9 percent of the overall stake.

"The fuel cell remains one of the most viable solutions to develop a sustainable, zero-emissions vehicle," said Gerhard Schmidt, Ford’s vice president of research and advanced engineering. "The creation of the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation is an investment in our future." The joint venture could become a significant platform for making the near-term mass production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles possible. Daimler, which introduced the world’s first fuel cell vehicle in 1994, expects large scale production to occur between 2012 and 2015.

Having the benefit of being able to tap into experts from all three corporations, AFCC becomes something of an automotive think tank for fuel cells. The company will be served by 150 employees. Outside of the consortium, Ballard on its own will shift its focus to non-automobile fuel cell applications.

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  • Giant

    Large scale production between 2012 and 2015? That’s nice, but I have trouble believing it. If they are hoping for production in 2012, I would think designs would be fairly mature, and they would start gearing up their suppliers.

    While it is nice to see ANY effort to change how we power our vehicles, I cannot help but feel that these guys should offer efficiencies in products selling today. Go after the low hanging fruit to improve things incrementally, while working on the breakthroughs like fuel cells. And while you’re working on the fuel cells, get that infrastructure in place, will ya?

  • Giant

    The extended article says that, “GM has pledged to put the Volt into production by 2010″. GM, please, please, please do this. I love the vehicle. The initial battery can have less than a 30 mile range, just get it out there.

  • Patrick

    Experience with recent prototype fuel cell vehicles tells me that the fuel cell is too sensitive for impurities in air and hydrogen. Moreover, the performance degrades over a short time due to platinum “wear”.
    Additionally there is no sustainable, efficient way to produce hydrogen available or in sight.
    Isn’t it better to spend the money on projects with higher yield and benefit to society?