Cells on the road
Daimler is planning to launch the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell plug-in car before the year-end. The vehicle will boast a hydrogen fuel-cell system that for the first time fits into a conventional engine compartment. The car will also carry a large lithium-ion battery as an additional energy source for the electric motor.
The battery can be charged externally by means of plug-in technology, while the system also allows energy to be recuperated and stored during vehicle braking and coasting phases.
Daimler says the combination fuel cell-battery set-up will give the GLC F-Cell an impressive aggregate range of around 500 kms.
The car maker developed the all-new fuel-cell system to be around 30% more compact than previous designs. In addition, the cost of the cell technology has been cut dramatically thanks mainly to a 90% reduction in the amount of platinum deployed.
The cell was developed in Canada together with Ford in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation joint venture, while the complete fuel-cell-drive assembly and hydrogen storage system comes from Daimler unit NuCellSys in Germany.
Daimler is planning to invest more than €7 billion in ‘green’ technologies over two years, accounting for half of its R&D spend.