Mercedes Launches First EV Featuring Fuel Cell and Plug-In Hybrid Tech

Mercedes-Benz has delivered the first GLC F-CELL vehicles to customers in Germany. The GLC F-CELL features both fuel cells and a battery drive which can be charged externally using plug-in technology.

Two carbon-fibre-encased tanks in the vehicle floor hold 4.4 kg of hydrogen and with fuel consumption at around 1kg/100km, the GLC F-CELL achieves around 430 hydrogen-based kilometres. In hybrid mode, it delivers an additional 51km on a fully charged battery. Power output is 155Kw.

The GLC F-CELL has four operating modes:

  • HYBRID: the vehicle draws power from both energy sources. Power peaks are handled by the battery, while the fuel cell runs in the optimum efficiency range.
  • F-CELL: the state of charge of the high-voltage battery is kept constant by the energy from the fuel cell. Only hydrogen is consumed.
  • BATTERY: the GLC F-CELL runs all-electrically and is powered by the high-voltage battery. The fuel cell system is not in operation.
  • CHARGE: charging the high-voltage battery has priority, for example in order to recharge the battery for the maximum overall range prior to refuelling with hydrogen or to create power reserves.

In all operating modes, the system features an energy recovery function, which makes it possible to recover energy during braking or coasting and to store
it in the battery.

Alongside various national and regional ministries, the first customers in the German market include Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company. Further handovers will also be made this year, including to the companies Air Liquide, Shell, Linde AG and also the cities of Stuttgart and Hamburg. Other business as well as private customers in Germany will also be able to have access to the GLC F-CELL from the spring of 2019 via Mercedes-Benz Rent.

The market launch of the GLC F-CELL is taking place in selected metropolitan regions with the focus on major cities which are already equipped with hydrogen filling stations. The SUV will be handed over successively to selected business customers in Germany and will be offered exclusively in the form of a full-service rental model. This will include all maintenance and possible repairs together with a comprehensive warranty package covering the entire rental period.

From early 2019, other business as well as private customers will also be able to rent the vehicle via one of seven GLC F-CELL outlets throughout Germany.

Infrastructure that can support the SUV is continuing to develop. Together with its partners in the H2 Mobility joint venture, Daimler plans to have 100 stations in the network by the end of 2019 with the long-term objective being as many as 400 hydrogen refuelling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being promoted in Europe, the USA and Japan.

Source: Motor Trader E-Magazine (December 2018)

13 Dec 2018