2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
At the end of the year, Mercedes will start building its fuel cell vehicles. 200 customers in Europe and the USA will test the cars. In contrast to the “Blue Zero” study, the production model looks like a normal B-Class.
By Sebastian Viehmann
A few years ago, fuel cell mobiles were just research vehicles, now large test fleets are rolling in. "2009 is the year in which we set further milestones in terms of sustainable mobility," says Daimler research director Thomas Weber. Small series production of the B-Class F-Cell begins at the end of 2009. The first 200 vehicles are to be leased to customers in Europe and the USA in early 2010.
While the “Blue Zero” study offered a futuristic look as a preview of the coming generation of the B-Class, the F-Cell series model looks like a commercially available B-Class at first glance. The vehicles are painted in the special color "Bonamite silver" and have special light alloy rims in a 10-spoke design. Because the drive components are housed in the sandwich floor of the car, there is a trunk of 416 liters suitable for everyday use. The standard equipment of the F-Cell includes heated leather seats, automatic climate control and a navigation system.
The vehicle is powered by a 100-kilowatt electric motor that provides 290 Newton meters of torque. Mercedes specifies the range of the car at 385 kilometers and the top speed at 170 km / h. The electrical energy is generated by a fuel cell. The hydrogen gas stored on board at 700 bar reacts with atmospheric oxygen, creating the electricity for the electric motor. A lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 1.4 kilowatt hours is used to store energy. When braking, the B-Class recovers energy for the battery. The car drives locally emission-free, so it does not emit any harmful substances. The actual environmental balance also depends on how the hydrogen required for operation is produced. Refueling takes about three minutes.
Two other drive alternatives
While manufacturers such as Renault and Nissan concentrate on pure electric cars - in 2010, the Nissan Leaf, a series model in the mid-range format, will be launched on the market - Mercedes, like Honda, is also pushing ahead with expensive fuel cell technology. Honda builds the FCX Claritiy sedan, which is given to leasing customers. However, no country in the world has yet a comprehensive network of hydrogen filling stations. In addition, fuel cells and hydrogen are currently getting little political backing. The US government, for example, has spoken out in favor of promoting plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.
In addition to the fuel cell mobile, Mercedes has two other drive options up its sleeve for its B-Class: a purely electric vehicle with a powerful battery and a car with a smaller battery that also has an internal combustion engine on board. The small three-cylinder then has no connection to the drive axle - it only serves as a generator and produces electricity before the battery is exhausted. The total range should increase to 600 kilometers. The Chevrolet Volt and its sister model Opel Ampera also work according to this principle.
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