Mercedes GLC F-CELL, world's first electric vehicle with fuel-cell/battery
Under the EQ Power technology, the latest electric model destined for subsequent series production from the Mercedes-Benz family is doubly electrifying, for, in a world first, it is set to combine innovative fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid: in addition to hydrogen, the all-electric variant of the popular SUV will also run on electricity. Intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, along with short refuelling times, will make the GLC F‑CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for long-distance motoring.
With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a range of up to 437 km in the NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a range of up to 49 km in the NEDC thanks to the large lithium-ion battery. An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. For this world first, the Mercedes-Benz engineers cooperated closely with partners from the Daimler competence network to develop a completely new fuel-cell system.
Compared with the B-Class F-CELL, which has been on the market since 2010 (fuel consumption: 0.97 kg H₂/100 km/CO₂ emissions, combined: 0 g/km), the overall drive system offers around 40 percent more output. The fuel-cell system is around 30 percent more compact than before, can for the first time be housed entirely in the engine compartment and is installed on the usual mounting points like a conventional engine. Also, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent.
This conserves resources while lowering the system costs – with no compromises in terms of performance. The lithium-ion battery in the preproduction vehicles on show has a gross capacity of 13.8 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. For the first time, it can also be charged externally using plug-in technology. An intelligent operating strategy in combination with the fuel-cell/battery system offers maximum efficiency and comfort. ■