UTC Fuel Cells, a unit of United Technologies Corp. has signed development agreements with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. to develop fuel cells and fuel cell components for vehicles. Renault, Nissan’s alliance partner, is also participating in the development projects.SOUTH WINDSOR, CT 2002-02-222 [SolarAccess.com] In one of the two agreements, UTC Fuel Cells will provide fuel cell power plants to Nissan for evaluation, based on UTC Fuel Cells’ proprietary ambient-pressure proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology. In the second agreement, UTC Fuel Cells, Nissan and Renault will work to develop components for fuel cell vehicles. “We are extremely proud to have Nissan and Renault as our partners,” said William Miller, president of UTC Fuel Cells. “Their selection of UTC Fuel Cells demonstrates the superior attributes and performance of our fuel cell design.” The UTC Fuel Cells design better manages the water produced by a fuel cell, according to the company. The result is a system that is quieter, significantly more fuel efficient and easier to install into a vehicle. The superior performance of UTC Fuel Cells’ design was proven at the 2001 Michelin Challenge Bibendum, an annual event where new automotive technologies are evaluated by independent judges. A sport utility vehicle powered by a 75-kilowatt UTC Fuel Cells ambient pressure fuel cell system scored “best in class” in both noise avoidance and efficiency. UTC Fuel Cells has been developing fuel cells for transportation applications since 1996. In addition to its other partnerships, UTC Fuel Cells developed and produced 5-kilowatt fuel cell power plants for BMW. The units now provide auxiliary electrical power for prototype Series 7 BMW automobiles. UTC Fuel Cells is also developing fuel cells for the bus market with partners Irisbus of Europe and Thor Industries of the United States. Prototype buses will be powered by UTC Fuel Cells’ 75-kilowatt ambient pressure power plants.