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Carmakers team up on hydrogen cars

DETROIT — Ford is joining with Daimler and ­Renault-Nissan to speed development of cars that run on hydrogen, with hopes of bringing a vehicle to market in as little as four years.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles generate electricity after a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is stored in special high-pressure tanks, and the only emissions are water vapor and heat.

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Under the alliance, each company will invest equally in the technology. They plan to develop a common fuel cell system that the companies will use to power their own vehicles.

Many automakers have been testing the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for years, but so far haven’t been able to bring costs down enough to sell the vehicles in mass markets. The zero-emissions cars have great potential to cut pollution and reduce the world’s reliance on oil for transportation.

The automakers say that together they have 60 years of experience developing fuel cell vehicles.

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