The firm thinks that hydrogen has a future as a power source, likely starting with commercial vehicles
Mark Tisshaw
2 October 2018

Mercedes-Benz is continuing to invest in and develop hydrogen fuel cell technology but believes its first realistic chances of mass production lie in commercial vehicles, such as buses.

Mercedes has been developing fuel cells for more than two decades but has thrown its resources behind making battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) on a mass scale. By 2025, it expects 15-25% of its sales to be BEVs, according to development boss – and future Daimler chairman – Ola Kallenius.

But speaking at the Paris motor show, Kallenius said Mercedes was still invested in bringing fuel cells to reality beyond the limited-volume GLC F-Cell it has put into series production.

First ride: 2018 Mercedes GLC F-Cell

“We are one of the veterans from the fuel cell business over 25 years and have seen it evolve, develop and find its place," said Kallenius. "Now we’re demonstrating with GLC F-Cell that it really works.

“On the way to 2025, what to scale first? BEV, FCV [fuel cell vehicle], or both? We’re talking hundreds of thousands, a big industrial play. We believe the scale is BEV first with the EQ family. It doesn’t make sense to scale them both at the same time.

“We still believe fuel cell is part of the solution to zero-emissions mobility in the future. I’ve told our fuel cell engineers to make the unit more compact and with more performance. We’ve come a long way already, though, and I believe we are the most complete between the performance and range combination.

“We need to make it more compact and take out cost. But our engineers need a vehicle to focus on.

“There is more energy used by a bus in northern Europe in winter on heating it than powering it, so that energy density really helps.

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“So the next fuel cells will go to commercial vehicles rather than passenger ones. It’s a flexible strategy, though. We’ll do BEV first and are developing FCV and staying in the game to see if the market swings in that direction.”

Kallenius said Mercedes was also part of the Hydrogen Council, which discusses the industrialisation of the fuel. To that end, it doesn’t want to be involved in providing infrastructure to support hydrogen but does want to work with companies to help deliver it.

Read more

First ride: 2018 Mercedes GLC F-Cell

Hyundai Nexo fuel cell review

Toyota Mirai fuel cell review

Join the debate

Comments
5

2 October 2018

So after 25 years they're still only knocking out a few test cars, each car leased to some mug must work out at several million pounds each.  

It's just sounds bites to make it sound like they're on the ball. Hydrogen cars going nowhere!!!!

Hydrogen cars just went pop!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

289

2 October 2018

...unless BEV's carry a far longer range and a circa 5 minute recharge, I wouldnt bet against Hydrogen.

Merceded-Benz arent on their own, Toyota are in the mix, and the Hydrogen buses already operating along Southwark street in London get my vote!

2 October 2018

Unless hydrogen cars manage to do more than the equivant of 25mpg, reduce the huge storage tanks, speed up, reduce the initial purchase price by at least 60%, build a massive expensive infrastructure from scratch :- I wouldn't bet on it.

Maybe the odd bus but never a car.  

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

3 October 2018
Fantastic to see Daimler-Benz once again committing to be a technology leader. With the recent introduction of hydrogen trains in Germany, our clean affordable utopian hydrogen future took yet another step closer!

3 October 2018

They're not commiting to it they're putting it on the slow burner, very slow burner

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

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