The three groups plan to hold equal shares in the project and expect to launch the first large scale production of affordable fuel-cell powered vehicles in 2017.
"The collaboration sends a clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage further development of hydrogen refueling stations and other infrastructure necessary to allow the vehicles to be mass-marketed," the companies said.
Electric vehicles already represent a major development strategy for Renault-Nissan, and fuel cells, which used a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, are presented as a complement to that effort.
The companies aimed to "maximize design commonality, leverage volume and derive efficiencies through economies of scale."
Nissan has already signed a similar agreement with fellow companies Toyota (IW 1000/8) and Honda (IW 1000/30), and Hyundai (IW 1000/54) to sell vehicles equipped with fuel cells in Scandinavian countries from 2015.
Copyright, Agence France-Presse, 2013