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Mercedes-Benz’ GLC F-CELL fuel-cell plug-in hybrid SUV coming in 2017
13 June 2016
The GLC F-CELL features a ~9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack combined with a new fuel cell stack developed in Vancouver, Canada together with partner Ford in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) joint venture. The combination of fuel cell and battery system—along with a further developed intelligent operating strategy—will offer a combined range of around 500 km (311 miles) in the NEDC.
Daimler has extensive experience with fuel cell vehicles. The B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid urban bus have together now clocked up in excess of 12 million kilometers (7.5 million miles), demonstrating that the drive concept is ready for market.
Working together with partners from its global competence network, Daimler AG has developed an all-new fuel-cell system. Around 30% more compact than previously, it can be fully housed in the engine compartment for the first time.
The fuel cell developers have also further optimised the performance and operating range. Furthermore, the cost of the technology has been slashed due largely to a 90% reduction in the amount of platinum used in the stack. From 2017, Daimler will be unveiling the new-generation fuel-cell technology based on the Mercedes-Benz GLC.
The 9 kWh battery pack is housed at the rear of the SUV to save space. It allows the GLC F-CELL to run on purely battery-electric power for up to 50 km (31 miles) in the NEDC and can be conveniently charged at a standard household socket, a Mercedes-Benz wall box or a public charging station.
Two carbon-fiber-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold around 4 kg of hydrogen. With the globally standardized 700-bar tank technology, the tank in the GLC F-CELL can be refilled at a hydrogen filling station within just three minutes—about the same amount of time it takes to refuel a car with an internal combustion engine.
The system also features a recuperation function, which allows energy to be recuperated and stored in the battery during braking and coasting phases.
The stack is produced in the at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC). Overall responsibility for the complete fuel-cell-drive assembly and the hydrogen storage system is developed from the Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys in Kirchheim/Nabern, Baden-Württemberg.
The Daimler strain plant Untertürkheim is responsible for an establishment for the fuel cell system installation, also at the location Nabern. The hydrogen tank system consisting of carbon-fiber-encased tanks is produced at the Daimler Mannheim plant while the lithium-ion battery comes from Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE located in Kamenz, Saxony.
Daimler is currently working systematically to prepare for series production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL. The SUV is produced at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant, which acts as the competence center for the model series. The GLC has been rolling off the production line there since July 2015. Regarding to the drive system integration of the GLC F-CELL, the partner EDAG supports the Bremen factory.