At the end of January, Mercedes-Benz will launch the F-CELL World Drive— a circumnavigation of the world with the series-produced fuel cell vehicle, the B-Class F-CELL.
Mercedes-Benz intends to use the F-CELL World Drive is to demonstrate the efficiency and suitability for everyday use of fuel cell technology, and at the same time campaign for the development of a global hydrogen filling station network.
The journey will last 125 days, driving through four continents and the widest variety of climate zones as well as an equally diverse mixture of routes, ranging from asphalt streets to unpaved roads.
With this unique circumnavigation of the world we are emphasizing the high level of technical maturity of our electric vehicles with fuel cell. Such an undertaking would not be possible, using purely battery-powered electric vehicles.—Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars
The fuel cell vehicles will travel through 14 countries: from southern Europe, through France, Spain and Portugal, the cars will continue on to North America, where they will drive through both the USA as well as Canada. After crossing Australia the cars will reach the continent of Asia. From China they will then pass through Kazakhstan, Russia and finally northern Europe, until the tour will return to Stuttgart at the beginning of June, where the 125-day round-the-world tour will come to an end.
The B-Class F-CELL has a range of around 400 km (249 miles) with short refilling times and as such is suitable for both everyday use in urban areas as well as longer journeys, Mercedes-Benz says.
Linde AG will act as the exclusive supplier for the provision of hydrogen on the drive. On remote routes, a tank vehicle, which has been specially developed for the tour in cooperation with Linde AG, will be on hand to supply the fuel cell vehicles with the necessary hydrogen.