Mercedes-Benz Hints At C And E-Class Fuel Cell Vehicles, Announces New Plant In Canada

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While the interest in hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles has waned lately, due mostly to the recent proliferation of battery powered electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the media, some automakers including industry giant Daimler are still backing their cause.

In fact, Daimler has just announced the development of its own hydrogen fuel cell stack and plans to start building them at a new plant in Vancouver, Canada. Daimler has already shown off a handful of fuel cell vehicles, including its Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell, which is already conducting real world trials in the U.S. However, these were earlier vehicles and came powered by fuel cells designed and built by outside suppliers.

The decision to establish the new facility in Canada stems from a partnership Daimler has formed with Canada’s Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation and Ballard, as well as rival automaker Ford. The aim of the new operation is to cover the entire value chain, from materials research and development of a production fuel cell for a large-scale use.

Construction of the new plant will begin immediately at a site in Vancouver. Completion of the production facilities is scheduled for early 2012, with the first actual stacks set to roll off the line in 2013.

Importantly, this new generation fuel cell stack will be smaller yet have a higher output and efficiency than current designs. It will also be suitable for use in sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class, suggesting that Mercedes-Benz models of the future may include a hydrogen powered fuel cell option in addition to battery powered electrics and internal combustion engines.
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Comments (4)
  1. Why are hydrogen powered fuel cells important or beneficial? I dont fully understand their benefit.

  2. Not surprised that it takes the Europeans to lead the way again to the obvious future. They get it. Hydrogen will rule with being able to power larger more luxurious vehicles. The world has an endless supply of hydrogen and technology will make it available for fuel cells with no pollution.

  3. Commercializing hydrogen cars is stupendously difficult and probably pointless now with so many plugin electric cars on the road. It is a waste of electricity to make hydrogen to then make electricity in the car's fuel cell. Making hydrogen emits as much CO2 as a gasoline car.
    Building out hydrogen refueling stations is big oil companies dream.

    As of now Plugin electric cars have proven their technology with millions of oil free miles driven.

    Good luck big oil.

  4. I beg to differ. Plug-in cars run on electricity generated by burning coal mostly so they are not much cleaner overall than gas cars.

    Hydrogen is a good form of transporting and storing energy that was originally electrical. You'll start to see remote wind, solar and hydro power generators creating electricity which can then be used to create hydrogen that is shipped to cities just as oil is today. It is the future.

    Plug-in cars are just a short-term fix. The real future, which Daimler is leading, is the hydrogen-fueled range-extended electric car. The best of both worlds.

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