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DaimlerChrysler Builds First Fuel Cell-Powered Fire Fighter Vehicle

Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell

DaimlerChrysler has introduced the first fuel cell–powered fire response vehicle. The Sacramento (California) Metropolitan Fire District will operate the Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell as a supervisor’s vehicle in the Sacramento area.

In the A-Class F-Cell, the entire fuel cell system is housed in the floor of the vehicle, leaving full use of the passenger and cargo spaces. It has a range of approximately 100 miles and a top speed of 85 mph. The electric motor develops 88 hp (65 kW), enabling acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 16 seconds. The fuel cell stack has been developed by the DaimlerChrysler cooperation partner, Ballard Power Systems.

Outfitted with decals, lights, and sirens, the Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell joins the first fuel-cell powered police car, also built by DaimlerChrysler, which operates in Michigan with the Wayne State University Police Department. These two vehicles are the first hydrogen fuel-cell powered emergency response vehicles in the world.

This program exhibits how DaimlerChrysler is taking on the challenge for industries and governments to create viable alternative-fuel solutions.

—Mark Chernoby, Vice President – Advance Vehicle Engineering, Chrysler Group

The Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell will be refueled at a BP Energy hydrogen refueling station located at the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

In 2005, DaimlerChrysler introduced a new generation fuel-cell vehicle based on its new B-Class Compact Sport Tourer. The B-Class fuel cell vehicle uses a newer fuel cell stack and motor that develop more than 100 kW (134 hp) and provide a range of almost 250 miles. (Earlier post.)

DaimlerChrysler has spent more than $1 billion in fuel cell vehicle research and development. No other manufacturer has accumulated more data or driven more zero-emissions miles:almost 2 million.

The DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicle fleet includes medium-duty fuel cell Dodge Sprinter vans and more than 35 Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses, which operate in Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore, in addition to research vehicles. As part of the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell vehicles, DaimlerChrysler has 32 fuel cell vehicles in customer hands within the United States and more than 100 around the world.


Rafael Seidl

The reason why money is still being poured into fuel cell vehicles at all is that California's ZEV mandate requires manufacturers to sell some TODAY - unless they have BEV solutions on offer. Hopefully, manufacturers will rediscover the latter route and let hydrogen wither on the vine. MB's sprinter PHEV van may be a sign of things to come.

In any case, it is hardly surprising that the initial customers of ZEV vehicles are agencies of the same government that mandated their production in the first place. It remains to be seen if and when regular customers will follow in significant numbers and if manufacturers will be able to turn a profit on the technology.

Also interesting is that DCX chose the A-Class as the platform for the F-Cell, even though demand for hydrogen-powered cars is near zero in Europe and the A-Class is not currently sold in the US. The main reason appears to be technical: the vehicle features a sandwich floor design, which can safely accomodate the pressurized fuel tanks without significant modifications to the rest of the vehicle. In Europe, this feature will be leveraged for the CNG version of the related B-Class, to debut in 2008.


So this is for fighting fires that are less than 50 miles away... when you don't have to get there very quickly... and you don't have to carry much firefighting gear.

I'm all for alternative fuel vehicles, but this really seems like the wrong application.

fyi CO2

As stated, the Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell is a supervisor’s vehicle


It basicaly lets both sides get data on how fuel cells .. stack up;/

They know its not ready for prime time but they also know its a good dtarting time to test things and fix problems they see now in heavy duty uses such as police and fire.


I think the concept of a fuel cell fire vehicel is great. If the fire department sees fuel cells as a viable technology, any concerns about Hydrogen safety can be addressed by them. This, the safety of hydrogen as a fuel, is one area the general public still has too many fears about. Kudos to the folks at DaimlerChrysler, er Mercedes for building this car.

I question why this article headlines DaimlerChrysler. I know that DaimlerChrysler is the parent of all things Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Mercedes, but this is a Mercedes car. So why does the credit not go to Mercedes? Furthermore, why is there no reference to Fuel Cell technology on the Mercedes website?

Strange, no??

electrical fire place

These are Nitrotek’ s own designs, not for entry level but very upgradable so ideal for people who already have remote control cars. With high spec’

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