Stuttgart, Germany – Mercedes-Benz will launch its first series-production fuel cell car, the B-Class F-Cell, in late 2009. The first of around 200 vehicles will be delivered to customers in Europe and the U.S. at the beginning of 2010.

The company said that the B-Class F-Cell performance is similar to that of a 2.0-litre gasoline vehicle, is fully suited for everyday driving, and will have a zero-emission drive system.

The car will use an electric motor with a peak performance of 136 horsepower and maximum torque of 214 lb-ft, available from the first rotation, with a lithium-ion battery to boost power and recover braking energy. It will have a range of about 400 kilometres and a refuelling time of about three minutes, and has been tested for good cold-start capability at temperatures as low as minus-25 C. Newly-developed versus the F-Cell A-Class presented in 2004, the B-Class F-Cell has considerable improvements in output, torque, operating range, reliability, starting characteristics and comfort. The drive components are located in the B-Class’ “sandwich” floor, where they are protected and do not intrude on interior space.

In order that customers can refuel the vehicles, Daimler is cooperating with government authorities, energy utilities and oil companies in joint projects in such places as Hamburg, Stuttgart and California.

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