Ford to close fuel cell joint venture with Daimler to focus on internal R&D
Ford Motor revealed to the media that its Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corp with Daimler in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, will close this summer. According to reports, the joint venture was jointly established in 2007 by Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG and Ballard Power Systems Inc of Canada, with three parties holding 30%, 50.1% and 19.1% respectively 9%.
Ford Motor said on June 13 that the auto fuel cell joint venture between the two companies is slowing down the process of joint research and development as Ford Motor and Daimler AG plan to develop their own fuel cell technology in-house. It added, "The company will start to develop fuel cells in-house by the summer of 2018, using its in-house supply base. In addition, although the joint venture is closed, the two parties will continue to explore ways to jointly develop fuel cell stack modules."
Daimler Group Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche hinted earlier this year that the company was shifting its focus to electric vehicles.
Despite years of research and investment by many major automakers and start-ups in the development of fuel cell-powered vehicles, the field remains a niche market in the global auto industry.
Honda Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are working together to develop fuel cells, and Toyota Motor Corp. is ramping up its efforts to mass-produce fuel cells. Earlier this week, Ballard Power Systems renewed a contract with Volkswagen-owned Audi to develop fuel cells.