Mercedes confirms it’s readying a hydrogen fuel cell version of its mid-sized SUV; a range of up to 300 miles is expected
15 January 2016

Mercedes-Benz is on course to launch its first production hydrogen fuel cell-powered car next year, according to R&D chief Dr Thomas Weber.

In an interview at the Detroit motor show, Weber responded to assertions that Mercedes had lost the intellectual lead it once held on hydrogen cars by revealing that the new production model would be a version of the full-size GLC SUV, featuring "the newest fuel cell technology available".

We put the Mercedes-Benz GLC crossover through its paces in our full review

"We are in the middle of the car's roll-out phase right now," Weber revealed. The hardware required to generate electric power from hydrogen has been significantly reduced in size in recent times, he said, and the new hydrogen Mercedes would reflect the fact.

Weber also confirmed that Daimler engineers were "well advanced" on the company's plan to build a fully electric production car.

He declined an invitation to reveal which existing Mercedes model would be used as the car's basis (a Tesla Model S competitor is strongly rumoured), or to say exactly when it would hit the market, although it's expected to have its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show before arriving in showrooms the year after. Weber did however confirm that the car would have a range of 250 to 300 miles and be the first vehicle to use a set of modular components that could be shared by hybrid and electric models across the group.

In an interview last year, Weber told Autocar that it would take about three minutes to refuel the fuel cell car's hydrogen tanks, and that the new model is set to be called the GLC F-Cell. It’s expected to be offered to customers in selected markets on either a monthly lease or outright purchase programme. The 
price is expected to be 
around £50,000.

Competitors for the GLC F-Cell include the recently introduced Toyota Mirai and Honda FCV Clarity. A further hydrogen-propelled rival is expected to come from BMW, which recently confirmed plans to launch its first fuel cell 
model by 2020.

Despite basing earlier fuel cell prototypes on the B-Class, Weber said the continued high cost of the fuel cell stack makes a hydrogen fuel cell model commercially viable only in higher classes.

He said: “The technology has matured greatly in recent years, with improved packaging and efficiency, but it remains in its infancy and is still quite expensive by conventional driveline standards.” 

As in Mercedes' earlier B-Class F-Cell prototype, the GLC F-Cell's fuel cell is planned to be mounted in the space usually occupied by the GLC’s combustion engine.

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Comments
9

20 November 2015

"Mercedes-Benz is on track to launch its first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell model within the next two years."

Wasn't the B-Class F-Cell also produced in limited numbers and sold to few customers a few years ago? So by "commercially available" I'm guessing it means "available in greater numbers"?

In any case, I think it makes sense to use this technology in an existing production vehicle (no weird styling like the Mirai) and in something more upmarket than a B-Class, although it still remains to be seen whether hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are better than EVs...

 

- Follow your own star -

20 November 2015

But in the story it says on sale 2018. That's just about it with Hydrogen: it's always in the Future. EV cars will be doing 200 miles, Telsa will be doing 300+ by 2020, all at .02p a mile, there's no point in Hydrogen cars now let alone the fuuture.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

15 January 2016
xxxx wrote:

But in the story it says on sale 2018. That's just about it with Hydrogen: it's always in the Future. EV cars will be doing 200 miles, Telsa will be doing 300+ by 2020, all at .02p a mile, there's no point in Hydrogen cars now let alone the fuuture.

XXXX , we all know you are an electric car fan but where do you get your often quoted cost of 0.02p per mile from? That equates to 2p of electricity to drive 100 miles!!!!!

Have you some secret knowledge about battery developments that the rest of the world is ignorant of that makes you believe there will be a big improvement in current electricity storage technology?

Funnily enough I was yesterday looking at a "green technology" website that compares the the lifetime mpg, in us gallons, of electric, hybrid, petrol and diesel cars in different countries. It varies as to how different countries generate their electricity and how much fossil fuels are used in manufacture of cars in different countries.

In the UK according to their website a typical electric car does an equivalent to 44mpg, pretty much the same as a hybrid or a diesel.

15 January 2016

I meant 2p a mile, hydrogen and diesel come out very similar at 11p a mile, around 5 times more

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

15 January 2016
xxxx wrote:

I meant 2p a mile, hydrogen and diesel come out very similar at 11p a mile, around 5 times more

Actually if you assume that the government would require you to pay the same tax on electric car usage as diesel, after all if many switched to electric they would have to replace their lost income stream, the cost per mile of electric to diesel is very similar to your 2p per mile before taxes.

16 January 2016
Campervan wrote:
xxxx wrote:

I meant 2p a mile, hydrogen and diesel come out very similar at 11p a mile, around 5 times more

Actually if you assume that the government would require you to pay the same tax on electric car usage as diesel, after all if many switched to electric they would have to replace their lost income stream, the cost per mile of electric to diesel is very similar to your 2p per mile before taxes.

Assumes and it's feature to much in your comment, EV's cost around 2p a mile and diesels cost 10p a mile (at 45 mpg) fact!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

15 January 2016
Campervan wrote:

In the UK according to their website a typical electric car does an equivalent to 44mpg, pretty much the same as a hybrid or a diesel.

In the UK, the average power grid mix results in EV emissions ranging between 70 and 100 g/km CO2, depending on model. It's nowhere near as clean as somewhere like California, but is still much better than even a Prius when you take into account the emissions produced by processing and transporting petrol. And obviously you can dramatically improve this by installing solar panels on your house.

As for costs, 10000 miles in a Leaf charged from the grid works out to £544 on average, compared to £1184 fueling a mk3 Prius. Or £2037 in my old diesel S-type...

Norma Smellons wrote:

The hydrogen car which can do (well over) 300 miles is here, right now. There is even a choice of models. By your own admission, the equivalent BEV is not.

Tesla 90D is only 15% off the Mirai's range, despite having 2.8x the power. More importantly, it can be charged at home, so unless you're constantly making gigantic voyages and wouldn't take a half-hour break every few hours, you'll waste a lot more time fueling a hydrogen or combustion car than an EV.

15 January 2016
xxxx wrote:

That's just about it with Hydrogen: it's always in the Future

Not true, the hydrogen car which can do (well over) 300 miles is here, right now. There is even a choice of models.

xxxx wrote:

Telsa will be doing 300+ by 2020

By your own admission, the equivalent BEV is not.

15 January 2016
Norma Smellons wrote:
xxxx wrote:

That's just about it with Hydrogen: it's always in the Future

Not true, the hydrogen car which can do (well over) 300 miles is here, right now. There is even a choice of models.

xxxx wrote:

Telsa will be doing 300+ by 2020

By your own admission, the equivalent BEV is not.

Choice of models? Even by your standards that's stretching the truth. In this country there were 10 ix35's and all of them went to companies to test, the Toyota, maybe another 10. They might both do 300 miles on a tank but you'll spend that looking for a Hydrogen station. Although I don't understand you comment about Telsa It's probably not a compliment knowing your history. Title is still mis-leading in the search for publicity.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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