March 3, 2005

Mercedes-Benz B-Class runs on hydrogen

Geneva, Switzerland – DaimlerChrysler presented the next generation of its fuel cell vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show, as the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class extends the family of fuel cell vehicles to include sports tourers.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class fuel cell cutaway
Click image to enlarge

Thanks to a reduction in fuel consumption and enhanced storage capacity, the B-Class has an operating range of almost 400 km.

DaimlerChrysler’s researchers and engineers have been working on the application since the early 1990s. In 1994 the company presented NECAR 1, the first fuel cell vehicle; more than twenty research vehicles and prototypes have followed. The size and weight of the drive systems have been considerably reduced, while performance and reliability have been enhanced. The B-Class “F-Cell” moves the technology further along to market maturity.

DaimlerChrysler has grouped its hybrid and fuel cell drive research and development to press ahead with technologies. It allows the current projects to be incorporated into strategic co-operations with General Motors (hybrid) and Ballard/Ford (fuel cell) and creates an efficient platform for integration from research to series production. Currently, DaimlerChrysler has more than 100 fuel cell vehicles being tested in everyday applications; thirty Mercedes-Benz “Citaro” city buses with fuel cell drive are in regular route service in ten major European cities, along with Perth, Australia. Three more will commence service shortly in Peking, China. They have already covered more than 500,000 km and carried more than two million passengers.

Since late 2004, sixty Mercedes-Benz A-Class “F-Cell” cars have been tested with customers in Germany, the United States, Japan and Singapore, covering 300,000 km.

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