July 27, 2006

DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicles may be available by 2012

Stuttgart, Germany – DaimlerChrysler estimates that it will market hydrogen fuel-cell drive systems sometime between 2012 and 2015, according to a report by the Green Car Congress. The company made the announcement in a recent fuel-cell workshop in Germany.

Currently, the company has sixty A-Class vehicles with fuel-cell powertrains in test use at six locations in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

The company is preparing its second-generation B-Class F-Cell vehicles, which include a number of improvements, including a newly-developed fuel tank that holds more hydrogen and allows the vehicle to travel more than 400 km on one tank; a new membrane technology and humidification system to reduce the problem of cold starts caused by accumulated water freezing; a new electric drive unit on the rear axle that is smaller and more powerful than its predecessor; a lithium-ion battery with twice the output of the nickel metal hydride batteries previously used; new metal foil bipolar plates to improve the conductivity and robustness of the fuel cells while reducing their size; and a new, smaller and lighter electric turbocharger to supply oxygen to the fuel cells. The company estimates the new B-Class F-Cell will consume the energy equivalent of 2.9 L/100 km of diesel fuel.

Connect with Autos.ca