Daimler announced last month that development of the first mass-market fuel cell vehicle from Mercedes-Benz is on track and will arrive by 2017. In the latest news, a report from Autocar, citing Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, says that engineering parameters for the production FCV have been finalised. Prof. Dr. Weber has revealed the driving range and refueling time specifications also.
“We are targeting a combined range for the fuel cell and battery of up to 600km, along with a refuelling time for the hydrogen tanks of three minutes,” Prof. Dr. Weber said.
The first mass-market FCV from Mercedes-Benz is said to be a variant of the Mercedes GLC crossover named Mercedes GLC F-Cell. The 2018 Mercedes GLC F-Cell, as per the report, will be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show (2017 IAA) and go on sale in 2018. Like the other fuel cell vehicles Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity, the Mercedes GLC F-Cell will also be offered in only select markets, probably in some areas of the U.S. and Canada, and in countries like Germany, UK and Japan where hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure is being pushed for.
Prof. Dr. Weber said that despite most of the development done on the Mercedes B-Class, the reason that the hydrogen fuel cell tech will be offered on rather another model, is that its cost would justify only in higher classes i.e. more upscale segments.
“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,” he said.