In May 2006, I had talked about how hydrogen fuel cell plugin hybrid vehicles may be the best option going forward. As recently as November 2015, I had asked Toyota to develop a Plugin H2 FCEV.
Well, this month Mercedes has announced that their hydrogen-powered GLC F-Cell FCEV Plugin SUV will be available for commercial sale in 2017. High-5, Mercedes!
According to Bloomberg, “Mercedes-Benz will start selling a fuel-cell electric version of its GLC sport utility vehicle next year, an effort to broaden the appeal of the technology with the first publicly available battery that can be charged both with hydrogen and at a wall socket.
“Able to drive about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before recharging, the car is part of Daimler AG’s 7 billion euro ($7.9 billion) spending effort on green technology through next year. The GLC F-Cell’s plug-in option gives the car enough charge to drive 50 kilometers, potentially making it more attractive to buyers despite the existence of just 26 public hydrogen refueling stations in the U.S.”
Mercedes says that the GLC F-Cell will have a large next generation lithium ion battery rated at around 9 kWh (with a 30 mile range), a next gen fuel cell system that is around 30-percent more compact (and uses 90-percent less platinum) and the vehicle will have a range of around 300 miles.
In addition, the GLC F-Cell will have two carbon fiber 10,000 psi hydrogen tanks that can be refilled in just 3 minutes.
When it hits the market, the Mercedes GLC F-Cell will be the world’s 1st plugin hybrid hydrogen fuel cell production car with the expectations of living up to the company’s slogan “The Best or Nothing.”
Two thumbs up (and two big toes up) to Mercedes for combining the best in class electrification technologies into one vehicle. Things are about to get very exciting!