Mercedes-Benz plans to unveil its pre-production GLC F-Cell fuel cell sport utility at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Germany this week. The plug-in hybrid hydrogen fuel cell crossover-SUV features a new fuel cell stack that can be fully housed in the vehicle’s engine compartment.
A 90 percent reduction in the amount of platinum required for the fuel cells’ catalyst resulted in a huge cost drop (Mercedes has not said how much) and a 30 percent reduction in stack size. The GLC F-Cell also has a 9 kWh lithium-ion battery for on-board use and a total range of about 311 miles (NEDC, 500 km).
Fuel cell technology remains an integral part of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. Mercedes-Benz has already gathered experience with hydrogen-powered electric vehicles over several vehicle generations. To date, the fleet of Daimler fuel cell vehicles, including research vehicles, numbers more than 300 and has collectively covered nearly 18 million kilometers. The next generation of fuel cell vehicles from Mercedes-Benz is currently being developed based on the GLC.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.