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Baden-Württemberg Minister President to use Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL fuel cell vehicle as official car

13 December 2013

Baden-Württemberg Minister President Winfried Kretschmann will use a fuel cell-powered Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL (earlier post) as his new official car in Berlin. Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability, Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG, officially handed over the vehicle in Berlin.

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The minister president of Baden-Wuerttemberg Winfried Kretschmann and Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research & Sustainability, Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL. Click to enlarge.

Equipped with a 700-bar high-pressure fuel tank system, the fuel-cell vehicle has an operating range of around 400 kilometers (249 miles) and can be refueled in less than three minutes. The car combines locally emission-free mobility with long-distance and day-to-day suitability and good performance figures.

Produced under series production conditions, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL has already been in day-to-day use with customers in the European and American markets since 2010.

The total mileage of the Daimler fuel cell fleet, which now numbers more than 300 vehicles including numerous research vehicles, has now reached 9 million km (5.6 million miles). Numbering around 70 vehicles, the F-CELL fleet in the USA has now covered 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles).

In early 2013, in a bid to speed up the widespread market availability of fuel-cell technology, Daimler, Ford and Nissan concluded a cooperation agreement covering the joint development of a fuel cell system. The aim is to make competitive electric vehicles available on the market for the first time from 2017.

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Comments

With probably over 10 new FCEVs on the market place by 2017/2018, more will have to be done to accelerate H2 distribution.

Limited H2 distribution centers by manufacturers such as Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan will not be enough.

USA needs a basic (400 to 1000) H2 station network on major national highways by 2017/2018. It may be a challenge but not impossible to do over 5 years.

Concurrently, the same number of quick charge EV stations could be installed.

Both could be collocated and/or installed in place of old gas stations.

There are no plans to build anything like that number in that time frame, nor is it needed.
By 2017 only first generation cars will be out, and in very limited numbers for sale in places where there is a hot spot of filling stations and incentives, like So Cal.
Manufacturers are going to have to bring the cost down and build up volume,they can't just do it from a standing start.

Battery cars also have challenges, as they need not only to make up for the withdrawal of subsidy and equalised taxation, but to get a larger share of the market need even better batteries to provide more range.

It all is not going to happen overnight, and certainly not for fuel cell cars for which it is very early days.

Yes Dave, USA seems to rely on BEVs and FCEVs manufacturers to install 'private' charging stations. That may or may not be the best way to get it done 'nation wide' on time.

Another way would be to invite H2 companies and power companies to design, build and install public charging stations on all Inter-States highways?

Negative H2 and Electricity taxes could be used as incentives for 5+ years; followed by zero taxes for another 5+ years; followed by regular (equivalent revenue) taxes by 2030 or so.

I am a supporter of fuel cells and hydrogen technology, often against considerable opposition from those who want batteries, and nothing but batteries, are confident that massive reductions in cost and simultaneous increases in energy density can take place.
AFAIK I was the first on this forum and ABG to show that the meme that batteries were always and everywhere much more efficient than hydrogen and fuel cells was false and gross miss-representation.

That does not mean that we should kid ourselves about the issues with hydrogen, some of the solvable, but some not.

The carbon fibre tank is expensive, and will remain so even though it will go down in cost.
The alternative of one form or another of hydrides and so on still have a relatively small amount of hydrogen in them.

If we manage to crack the problems with direct methanol fuel cells then I doubt we will bother with hydrogen.
The same considerations apply if we manage to make on the move charging work, and perhaps if lithium air batteries or other very high density batteries are possible economically.

That does not mean that we should simply assume that they will work, and not develop or roll out hydrogen cars and infrastructure as critics would have us do, as alternatives may simply not work out.

It does mean though that we should not go completely bonkers and spend vast sums building massive and completely comprehensive networks at this stage of the game.

A measured approach, allowing more organic development is surely the best policy, as I would argue it often is in many things.

Tesla soon realized that basic recharge networks are an absolute necessity and is going ahead with an expanded program in EU and USA.

FCEVs manufacturers will also realize that they cannot mass produce nor sell H2 units without basic recharge networks. Hyundai fully realized it and is going ahead with a limited H2 network in California.

The real question is, should we have a multitude of private limited (often incompatible) recharge/refill networks or planned (progressive capacity) wide based compatible public networks or both?

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