independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Trio join forces to chase holy grail of motoring

Daimler, Ford and Nissan are joining forces to chase the holy grail of motoring. They are going to develop affordable fuel cell cars that could be on sale by 2017.

The new alliance says "we were never as close to reaching a breakthrough in fuel-cell cars as today thanks to this partnership".

They plan on producing at least 100,000 cars, and will invest equal amounts to develop fuel-cell technology. It follows the announcement by Toyota and BMW to also develop fuel-cell systems.

The holy grail of motoring for some time now, fuel cells are as green as they come.

The cells produce electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen to power the car and emit only water vapour out the tailpipe. Potentially they can travel on a tank of 'fuel' nearly as far as the combustion engine and it takes much the same time to fill up.

However, there remains the issues of cost, fuel station networks and acceptability to consumers.

But these joint developments will permit the carmakers to not only share costs but to fit the power train to several models, thereby significantly reducing overheads. The trio will sell their own versions under their own brand.

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