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Mercedes-Benz to present G-Class-derived fuel-cell SUV concept

16 November 2012

Mercedes-Benz will present a fuel-cell powered design study of an off-road SUV, the Ener-G-Force, based on the concept of a future police car developed for the Los Angeles Design Challenge. Enhanced green-car characteristics and off-road capabilities are expected to be among the fundamental attributes of a police car in 2025.

The Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California evolved the vision of a police version into a civilian version and built a 1:1-scale model. Like the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025”, the shape of the civilian Ener-G-Force is modeled after the G-Class.

12C1233_032
The Ener-G-Force design concept. Click to enlarge.

The Ener-G-Force stores recycled water in tanks on the roof, and transfers it to the “hydro-tech converter,” where natural and renewable resources are converted into hydrogen for operating the fuel cells. The storage units for the electricity generated in this process are housed in the side skirts, which can also hold hot-swappable battery packs. Changes in the color of the illumination of the side skirts indicate the operating and charge status of the energy packs.

The Ener-G-Force emits nothing but water and has an operating range of about 500 miles. Four wheel-hub motors, whose output for each individual wheel is adapted precisely to the respective terrain by high-performance electronics, provide the pulling power.

A “Terra-Scan” 360-degree topography scanner on the roof permanently scans the surroundings and uses the results to adjust the spring and damping rates as well as other suspension parameters for maximum traction on the respective surface, regardless of whether it is on- or off-road.

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