DaimlerChrysler has introduced a new fuel-cell vehicle based on its new B-Class Compact Sport Tourer.
A new high-torque electric motor develops more than 100 kW (134 hp)—35% more than the power unit in the prior generation, the A-Class F-Cell.
With a more efficient fuel cell that reduces fuel consumption and further enhanced hydrogen storage, the new F-Cell car has a range of almost 400 km (250 miles).
The components’ reliability and longevity have also been further improved.
The B-Class (earlier post) uses the Mercedes-Benz “sandwich” concept used in the A-class. The result is more internal room despite compact external dimensions, and a chassis that is ideal for a fuel-cell drive. (Cutaway pictures to right. The lower picture highlights the new fuel cell stack in blue.)
At the announcement, DaimlerChrysler noted that it has grouped together its hybrid and fuel cell drive research and development activities into respective competence centers. This more focused structure is designed to improve the cooperation with the respective strategic partners (GM for hybrids, Ballard/Ford for fuel cells), and to enable more efficient integration of research into production.
More than 100 DaimlerChrysler fuel cell cars, vans and buses are currently in everyday application, contributing to largest set of practical tests on fuel cell vehicles to date.