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Report: Mercedes-Benz introducing fuel cell GLC SUV next year, 4 EVs starting in 2018

Autocar quotes Mercedes-Benz’ head of R&D Dr. Thomas Weber as saying that the company will introduce a fuel cell version of its GLC SUV next year. The release of the GLC F-Cell will be followed by the introduction of four battery-electric cars starting in 2018.

Mercedes-Benz has amassed a large amount of experience with hydrogen fuel cell drive technology, in light-duty vehicles as well as in buses. (E.g., earlier post; earlier post; earlier post).

The most recent Mercedes-Benz light-duty fuel cell vehicle is the B-Class F-Cell, which began production in 2009. The B-Class-based vehicle, which represented Mercedes-Benz’ second-generation fleet experience, had light modification to support the integration of the fuel cell system, the hydrogen tank system as well as the electric drive. In 2013, Mercedes-Benz reported that the B-Class had already achieved 3.3 million kilometers (2 million miles) of driving.

The earlier A-Class fuel-cell vehicle accumulated more than 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) in fleet testing.

Weber told Autocar that the hydrogen fuel cell technology has improved significantly.

Weber also told Autocar that the first BEV to emerge in 2018 would have a 250- to 300-mile range.



Mercedes has more than 2 million miles of fuel cell testing in vehicles. In the 1990s they had NECAR which ran on methanol reformed to hydrogen.

Fascinating announcement timing in light of Toyota's recent decision to stop selling the Mirai in the US until more H2 stations are available. The situation should improve slightly next year, but with only 48 stations planned over the next few years in a state as big as California, its going to be interesting to follow the comments on Owners forums about what its really like to keep one of these vehicles fueled up next year.

OP> Weber also told Autocar that the first BEV to emerge in 2018 would have a 250- to 300-mile range.

No mention of plans for an intra-city fast charge network. I wonder how many years of continued sales erosion it will take for that light bulb to go on.

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