The fuel cells, which generate electricity from hydrogen and oxygen to power vehicles, are said to have the potential to fuel vehicles the same size, range, roominess and speed of conventional cars and trucks while emitting little more than water vapor into the atmosphere. The alliance aims to have functional cars and trucks developed by 2005.
According to the agreement, Ballard will be responsible for the fuel cells, with Daimler-Benz and Ford holding 20% and 15% of Ballard Power Systems, respectively. Daimler-Benz will be the majority owner of DBB Fuel Cell Engines GmbH, responsible for fuel cell systems, with Ballard and Ford holding 26% and 23%, respectively. Ford with be the majority owner of a new company responsible for electric drivetrain systems, with ballard and Daimler-Benz owning 19% each.