UTC Fuel Cells, a unit of United Technologies Corp., today announced that it 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.

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.

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.