Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles
For Daimler AG, the manufacturer of marquee brand Mercedes-Benz, the electrification of vehicles plays a major role in the future of sustainable mobility. This includes the optimization of internal combustion engines, the hybridization of vehicles, as well as electric vehicles powered by either a fuel cell or a battery. These three aspects are an integral part of the Daimler strategy. Daimler draws on its extensive experience as a pioneer in fuel-cell technology. Having begun its research activities in the 1980s, the company introduced its first fuel cell electric vehicle, the NECAR 1, in 1994. Since that time, Daimler continues to focus on fuel cell technology, viewing it as a resource-saving alternative to the combustion engine.
Since the introduction of NECAR 1, Daimler has presented several generations of its fuel cell powered electric vehicles. Throughout this period, performance and reliability were steadily enhanced while the size and weight of the drive system was reduced. The latest technology development was presented in 2009 as Mercedes-Benz introduced its first fuel cell vehicles produced under series conditions: the B-Class F-CELL. In 2010, the first of approximately 200 vehicles were delivered to customers in Europe and the USA.
The heart of the B-Class F-CELL is the new-generation electric drive system powered by a fuel cell, which is compact, powerful, safe and fully suited for everyday use. This fuel cell technology is also transferable among a wide variety of vehicle types and combines two distinct advantages: generous operating range and short refuelling times.
Daimler’s fuel cell program comprises all vehicle segments from passenger cars to light duty vehicles and buses collecting more data and expertise than any other manufacturer in this field. With various B-Class F-CELL field trials in Germany, Norway and the US and the F-CELL World Drive in 2011 – an unparalleled long-distance journey of three B-Class F-CELLs – the company has shown that the time for fuel cell electric vehicles has come.
Mercedes-Benz is dedicated to introducing fuel-cell electric vehicles into the mass market in the next two to three years. While the refueling infrastructure remains a limiting factor, Daimler, together with a German hydrogen supplier, will build 20 hydrogen filling stations in Germany beginning in 2012. This is a big step toward a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure network within Germany.
Research and development activities continue to advance fuel cell technology. For example, the new Mercedes-Benz F 125! research vehicle, which was presented at the International Auto Show 2011 in Frankfurt (Germany), offers insight into how entirely emission-free individual mobility can be made possible in the luxury segment and proves that fuel cell technology is also applicable in sedans.
For more information visit http://www.daimler.com/fuelcell
Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive
In 2011, three Mercedes-Benz B-Class vehicles featuring local zero-emission fuel cell drives undertook a 125-day circumnavigation of the world travelling over 30.000 km across four continents and 14 countries. With the F-CELL World Drive, Mercedes-Benz demonstrated the technical maturity of fuel cell technology and its suitability for everyday use in vehicles. At the same time, Mercedes reinforced the need to establish a comprehensive filling station infrastructure for fuel cell electric vehicles.
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