A Mercedes GLC hydrogen fuel cell model has been confirmed by the brand, with a production version due next year, although UK buyers face a longer wait.
The GLC F-Cell will also have a rechargeable battery pack, making it the world’s first plug-in fuel cell hybrid. It has a compact cell stack that was co-developed with Ford and fits in the space that would normally be the engine compartment. Electrical power is sent to a motor that drives the rear wheels. There won’t be a four-wheel- drive version.
The need to achieve Mercedes’ target of a 500km (310-mile) range means the F-Cell has two hydrogen tanks, both made from ultra-strong carbonfibre weave. One is mounted longitudinally under the centre of the car and the other transversely at the back. Total hydrogen capacity is 4.3kg, stored at 700bar and good for a claimed 280-mile range. The extra 30 miles comes from the 8kWh battery pack sited above the rear tank.
Sales will start next year in territories that already have a reasonable density of hydrogen filling stations, including Japan and California. Mercedes has said no decision has been taken on when – or indeed whether – to bring the car to the UK yet.