Ford Motor and Daimler AG are winding down a joint venture established to develop automotive fuel cell technology, Ford stated on Wednesday, as both automakers prepare to take their concerning fuel cell technology development in-house.
The Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corp venture, formed in Burnaby, British Columbia, will shut down this summer, Ford stated in response to an inquiry by Reuters.
The venture hired about 200 workers. Regardless of years of research and investment by major automakers and startups, automobiles powered by fuel cells remain a tiny niche in the worldwide vehicle market.
Honda Motor and General Motors are working on fuel cell development, and Toyota Motor is ramping up efforts to heavily produce fuel cell stacks. Previously this week, Ballard Power Systems Inc expanded a contract with Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit to collaborate on fuel cell development.
Ford “will take fuel cell stack development in-house, and leverage the supply base, and close Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation by summer 2018,” the automaker stated. “Both companies will keep exploring ways to cooperate on developing fuel cell stack modules.”
Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche previously this year signaled that the German automaker was moving its focus toward battery-electric vehicles.