Ford signs agreement to develop zero emission car

Ford has signed a development agreement with two other manufacturers which the groups involved hope will lead to the world's first zero-emission car being released within five years.

The deal has been reached between Ford, Renault-Nissan and Daimler, and will result in the three companies working together to complete a groundbreaking fuel cell system-based electric vehicle, which has so far not been much more than an innovative pipe dream of environmentally conscious firms.

Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president of global product development, led the announcement of this new project, explaining to the public that the desired vehicle is to be powered solely by oxygen and hydrogen, and the only substance it emits will be water.  

The three manufacturers have set a target year of 2017 for initial production of the first ever 'affordable, mass-market fuel cell car' and this will be dependent on them convincing others of the benefits of setting up their own zero emission refuelling stations.

Looking forward to a time when every Ford car dealership will be able to sell vehicles featuring this technology, Mr Nair confirmed that separate models designed by all three brands will jointly use the same hydrogen electric fuel system, pooling resources in the developmental stage and therefore speeding up the availability date.

A statement published on behalf of the three groups made mention of the fact that each is based in a different part of the world, which should have the effect of broadening the mainstream reach of zero emission cars once work on them has been finished.

Both new and used Ford cars already offer impressively low emission outputs at extremely competitive prices, but there is no denying that the creation of such a carbon friendly vehicle would significantly improve the company's growing green reputation further still. Dr Anthony Baxendale of Future Transport Technologies & Research at Mira Ltd was amongst those who praised the move, saying that 'the time is right'.

Image credit: Kosabe (flickr.com)