Nov. 7, 2007: Source – MSNBC
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.