Fuel-cell cars to be developed by Toyota, GM and Exxon
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Corp. of the United States and the oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. plan to jointly develop environmentally-friendly cars powered by fuel cells, a report said Monday.
The three firms are in the final phase of talks on plans to start marketing their fuel-cell cars in 2003 at the earliest, the major Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun said.
Fuel cells, which produce electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, are seen by some as likely to replace the internal combustion engine in the 21st century.
The new fuel-cell cars will be powered by gasoline-derived hydrogen which is subsequently used to generate electricity, the newspaper said.
There are no international standards for fuel-cell cars, and the three-way alliance aims to take the lead in the field, Yomiuri said.
DaimlerChrysler AG is developing fuel cells with a methanol method that uses natural gas, the report said.
Toyota and General Motors account for about 30 percent of the global car market and they hope to win the lion's share of the fuel-cell vehicle market, the report said.
They had first tried to develop fuel cells that directly use hydrogen, or a method that extracts hydrogen from methanol.
But the companies have turned to a method of extracting hydrogen from gasoline as they attached importance to the merit of using the existing worldwide network of gasoline stations, the daily said.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)