Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Combines Fuel Cell With Plug-In Capability

OCT 12 2018 BY MARK KANE 82

Plug-in capability limits the necessity to refuel with hydrogen.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL is one of the most extraordinary hydrogen fuel cell cars, because right from the factory it’s envisioned as a plug-in hybrid.

The battery pack capacity was selected to enable daily driving in battery-electric mode and use hydrogen only on longer trips. In other FCVs from Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, we see only small battery packs, required to support fuel cells that don’t cope well with fast changes in power output.

The 13.5 kWh battery (9.3 kWh usable) is the same as in the 3rd generation plug-in hybrids EQ Power. Under the NEDC, GLC F-CELL can go up to 51 km (31 miles) on battery power alone. It’s especially cool because the hydrogen refueling infrastructure is currently very limited.

Hydrogen tanks store 4.4 kg of hydrogen at 700-bar, which should be enough for 478 km (297 miles) NEDC, basically more or less on par with long-range all-electric cars.

Daimler boasts that the new hydrogen fuel cell system is a major step forward, but we are not sure whether the GLC F-CELL will be anything more than a pilot project in a few markets.

“The GLC F-CELL represents an important step by Mercedes-Benz in the development of fuel cell technology. It features a totally new fuel cell system which is so compact that the entire system can be housed in the engine compartment for the first time and installed at the same mounting points as a conventional engine. In addition, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent in comparison to the predecessor vehicle. Consequently resources are conserved, and system costs are cut without impairing performance. Two carbon-fibre-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardised 700-bar tank technology, the supply of hydrogen can be replenished within just three minutes – as quickly as is customary when refuelling a combustion-engined car.”

“Despite the extraordinary powertrain concept, the GLC F-CELL boasts the everyday practicality and comfort people have come to expect from a Mercedes‑Benz. Even the luggage compartment remains unchanged, with the exception of a minimal step, and the rear seats are only slightly higher positioned in order to make space for the hydrogen tanks.”

Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL spec:

  • Battery-electric range: up to 51 km (31 miles) NEDC
  • battery capacity: 13.5 kWh (9.3 kWh usable)
  • H2 range in hybrid mode: 478 km (297 miles) NEDC
  • H2 tanks capacity: 4.4 kg of hydrogen
  • 155 kW (211 hp) and 365 Nm electric motor
  • top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph)
  • 7.4 kW on-board charger (10-100% SOC research in 1.5 hour)
Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL
101 photos
Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz präsentiert auf der IAA 2017 in Frankfurt mit dem Vorserienmodell des neuen Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL den nächsten Meilenstein auf dem Weg zum emissionsfreien Fahren.Neben Wasserstoff wird die rein elektrische Variante des SUV auch Strom „tanken“. 

At the IAA International Motor Show 2017 in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz is presenting a preproduction model of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL as the next milestone on the road to emission-free driving.In addition to hydrogen, the all-electric variant of the popular SUV will also run on electricity. Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL

Press release:

Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL: Two electrical energy sources: battery and fuel cell

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL (combined hydrogen consumption 0.34 kg/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km, combined electrical consumption 13.7 kWh/100 km)1 is a unique plug-in hybrid as it combines innovative fuel-cell and battery technologies for the first time: apart from electricity, it also runs on pure hydrogen. Intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, long range, and short refuelling times make the GLC F‑CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for short and long-distance motoring. With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the SUV generates enough energy for a range of up to 478 km1 in hybrid mode. The large lithium-ion battery delivers up to 51 km1 of range in the NEDC. An output of 155 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally emission-free driving pleasure. Initial vehicles are to be handed over to selected customers at the end of October.

The GLC F-CELL represents an important step by Mercedes-Benz in the development of fuel cell technology. It features a totally new fuel cell system which is so compact that the entire system can be housed in the engine compartment for the first time and installed at the same mounting points as a conventional engine. In addition, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent in comparison to the predecessor vehicle. Consequently resources are conserved, and system costs are cut without impairing performance. Two carbon-fibre-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardised 700-bar tank technology, the supply of hydrogen can be replenished within just three minutes – as quickly as is customary when refuelling a combustion-engined car.

The lithium-ion battery has a gross capacity of 13.5 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. Plug-in technology makes it easy to charge via the 7.4 kW on-board charger at a standard household socket, a wallbox or a public charging station – from 10 to 100 percent SoC (State of Charge) in approx. 1.5 hours if the full power is used. Just like the drive motor, an asynchronous motor with an output of 155 kW (211 hp) and a torque of 365 Nm, the powerful storage battery is space-savingly installed in the rear of the SUV.

Coordinated: operating strategy with a unique variety of combinations

The innovative plug-in fuel-cell drive combines the advantages of both zero-emission drive technologies and, thanks to its intelligent operating strategy, continuously optimises the use of both energy sources in line with the current operating situation. This is also influenced by the selected drive program: ECO, COMFORT or SPORT..

There are four operating modes:

  • HYBRID: the vehicle draws power from both energy sources. Power peaks are handled by the battery, while the fuel cell runs in the optimum efficiency range.
  • F-CELL: the state of charge of the high-voltage battery is kept constant by the energy from the fuel cell. Only hydrogen is consumed. This mode is ideal for steady cruising over long distances.
  • BATTERY: the GLC F-CELL runs all-electrically and is powered by the high-voltage battery. The fuel-cell system is not in operation. This is the ideal mode for short distances.
  • CHARGE: charging the high-voltage battery has priority, for example in order to recharge the battery for the maximum overall range prior to refuelling with hydrogen or to create power reserves.

In all operating modes, the system features an energy recovery function, which makes it possible to recover energy during braking or coasting and to store it in the battery.

The battery and all components containing hydrogen are governed by particularly stringent safety standards typical of Mercedes. Alongside safety in the event of a crash, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles undergo additional component tests at system level that go far beyond the usual tests. The powertrain components and hydrogen tanks of the F-CELL pre-series vehicles are space-savingly and safely housed in the engine compartment as well as in the vehicle underbody.

Mercedes-Benz’s safety assistance systems are also all on board the GLC F‑CELL. Their sensors have an additional purpose in vehicles that run purely on electric power in that their signals assist the powertrain control with the selection of a range-preserving, efficient strategy for using the on-board energy sources. The energy employed for accelerating the car is used intelligently, taking account of the route characteristics, topography and traffic situation. The driver can always set other priorities, of course, but subtle hints inform them of what they can do intuitively to optimise the vehicle range.

Self-assured: with the DNA of a genuine Mercedes

Despite the extraordinary powertrain concept, the GLC F-CELL boasts the everyday practicality and comfort people have come to expect from a Mercedes‑Benz. Even the luggage compartment remains unchanged, with the exception of a minimal step, and the rear seats are only slightly higher positioned in order to make space for the hydrogen tanks. The climate comfort in the GLC F-CELL is on a par with conventional vehicles, and the pre-entry climate control based on mains charging current is an intelligent way of safeguarding the vehicle’s range. At cooler temperatures, the vehicle will make energy-efficient use of the waste heat from the fuel cell in order to optimise the energy balance of the vehicle.

Remote retrieval of vehicle status via Mercedes me provides a wealth of information: current hydrogen tank level and current battery charging status as well as current range, mileage covered, driving time and consumption since the last start or since the last trip odometer reset.

The GLC F-CELL is equipped with coil springs on the front axle and with single-chamber air suspension with integral automatic level control on the rear axle. This means that, even when the vehicle is carrying a load, there is no change in spring travel at the rear axle, which guarantees balanced vibration characteristics with a virtually constant natural frequency of the body, even when the vehicle is loaded.

Marketing focus on H2 cities

The market launch of the GLC F-CELL is imminent. Initial vehicles are to be handed over to selected customers at the end of October.The market launch will focus above all on major cities which are already comparatively well equipped with hydrogen filling stations: Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne and Düsseldorf. The GLC F-CELL, which features an excellent scope of equipment as standard, will be available solely in the form of a full-service rental model.This will include all maintenance and possible repairs together with a comprehensive warranty package covering the entire rental period.

Production: global competence network

During production of the innovative fuel-cell drive, Daimler is able to call upon its global competence network. The heart of the technology, the fuel-cell stack, is produced at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC) in Vancouver, Canada. The entire fuel-cell unit and the hydrogen storage system were developed by the Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys in Kirchheim/Nabern in Baden-Württemberg. The Daimler parent plant in Untertürkheim is responsible for fuel-cell system assembly, also in Nabern. The hydrogen tank system, consisting of carbon-fibre-encased tanks, is produced at Daimler’s Mannheim plant, while the lithium-ion battery comes from the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz, Saxony. The fully fledged, family-friendly everyday SUV is produced in Bremen, just like the GLC with conventional drive.

Pioneers: Daimler has been working on the fuel cell for over 30 years

Daimler researchers have been tinkering with this technology since the 1980s. In 1994, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first fuel-cell vehicle to the global public – the NECAR 1. Many other vehicles followed: to date, fuel-cell vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, including the B-Class F-CELL, have together covered over eighteen million kilometres, thereby demonstrating the maturity of the powertrain concept.

The infrastructure is essential

A full-coverage infrastructure is essential to the success of electric mobility. The spread of both charging stations and hydrogen filling stations is proceeding apace around the world. Whether at home, at work, on the road or when shopping: there are various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Also when it comes to the H2 infrastructure, progress is constantly being made. Together with its partners in the H2 Mobility joint venture, Daimler has already drawn up a concrete action plan. By the end of next year the H2 filling station network is to be expanded from its current level of 51 to 100 stations. The partners’ long-term objective is a network with up to 400 hydrogen refuelling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being promoted in Europe, the USA and Japan.

Technical data

GLC F-CELL1
Combined CO2 emissions (g/km) 0
Combined hydrogen consumption in hybrid mode (kg/100 km) 0.34
Combined electrical consumption (kWh/100 km) 13,7
H2 range in hybrid mode (NEDC) (km) 478
Battery-electric range in battery mode (NEDC) (km) 51
Engine Electric motor
Rated output (kW/hp) 155 (211)
Peak torque (Nm) 365
Battery Lithium-ion
Energy content (gross/net) (kWh) 13,5 /9,3
Fuel cell PEM
H2 tank capacity (kg) (usable for SAE J2601, 2014 or more recent) 4.4
Top speed (km/h) 160 (governed)
Length (mm) 4.671
Width (mm) 2096
Height (mm) 1.653
Track width (mm) 1625 (front axle) | 1621 (rear axle)
Wheelbase (mm) 2873

1 Figures for fuel consumption, electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the technical service for the certification process in accordance with the WLTP test method and correlated into NEDC figures. EC type approval and certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.

Categories: Mercedes

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82 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL Combines Fuel Cell With Plug-In Capability"

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Brian

A FCV without a plug is like a hybrid without a plug – it just makes no sense today. The added upfront cost is nothing compared to the increased convenience and the long-term fuel savings! It’s about time someone built one of these.

amt

Still Beating That Different , Dead Horse ..

Brian

Please elaborate because I have no idea what you are talking about. I said that all Fuel Cell Vehicles should be able to charge at home (because they are fundamentally EVs with small battery packs). Like a plug-in hybrid, this is much more convenient than using only Hydrogen. Most of your miles will be powered by electricity from home. Also, home electricity is MUCH cheaper than retail hydrogen. So it save you money as well.

What part of that is beating a dead horse?

amt

Figure this one out Einstien………Wake Up & Die Right !

Brian

Ok… so instead of more clearly stating your point when I simply asked for clarification, you resort to an ad hominem attack. I see where this thread is going…

Robert Weekley

This horse is Sick, but if they beat it long enough….well…maybe it will be dead! 😱

However, with range on battery a bit longer than a Prius Prime, or about like a Pacifica (Plug-In) Hybrid, it would seem they have a chance at making this package Viable, depending on Price, I guess!

Having about 55-60 Miles on Battery, would be yet better, for not just more range, but more power, too, would be another step they could take, to “Compete” with Other EV’s coming with 300 Miles Range!

Even with an H2 statuon easily accessable almost everywhere, powering the Commut on Battery power, and using the H2 FC as a range Extender, seems the best application, and a marketable combination!

john1701a

The lithium-ion battery has a gross capacity of 13.5 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. Plug-in technology makes it easy to charge via the 7.4 kW on-board charger at a standard household socket, a wallbox or a public charging station – from 10 to 100 percent SoC (State of Charge) in approx. 1.5 hours if the full power is used.

Brian

Why are you quoting the press release in response to my comment? I don’t understand.

I am saying that the only Fuel-Cell Vehicles that make sense are those that you can plug in and charge at home. Which is what this is.

john1701a

Hybrids make sense. As much as we all what plug locations readily available, that simply isn’t realistic yet.

Brian

Ok, for those who cannot charge at home, hybrids can make sense. For anyone with an outlet reachable from where they park, a plug-in hybrid makes so much more sense.

But you didn’t answer my question at all. Why did you quote the press release with regards to this car being able to charge at home? Especially when my comment was about how important this ability is for a fuel cell vehicle? Your comment reads like you interpreted my comment as the opposite.

john1701a

It was a teaching moment. Leaving comments open like that will result in unintended feedback. Think about the audience here…

Gasbag

“Ok, for those who cannot charge at home,”

There may be a growing homeless population but most of those who cannot charge at home probably can’t afford a new car either so they aren’t really the target market.

Brian

You totally miss the point. There is a growing URBAN population who don’t have easy/reliable access to an outlet near where they park. Think roadside parking or apartment complexes.

antrik

That’s an easily solvable problem: in Amsterdam, reportedly any EV owner can request for a charging station to be installed near their home, if they don’t have sufficient charging opportunities otherwise.

Other places need to adopt similar regulations.

Jason

Really, so what? It’s a PHEV. If you can plug in then you benefit from about 30mi BEV range. Once that is depleted you are using the FCEV side of things. If you can’t plug in at home then it’s essentially a hybrid and you are just using the FCEV side of things.
Of course there are plenty of public EVSE, so reality for someone who can’t plug in where they park will be that they plug in at Walmart, at work or somewhere else that is more or less convenient to them. $15/kg H2 vs whatever public EVSE power costs will influence their decision.

menorman

I wouldn’t disagree per se, but the public charging opportunities are also expanding, so it’s highly likely that they’ll gain the ability in at least the medium term future.

Gasbag

“As much as we all what plug locations readily available, that simply isn’t realistic yet.”

Here in California electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing are building code requirements. Sometimes we forget that others have to live without what we take for granted.

menorman

No, pure hybrids no longer make sense, even for those who can’t charge at home. A LOT of money is getting poured into public charging initiatives, so the odds are absolutely growing that they will at least have some opportunity to charge it on occasion despite having no access at home and those opportunities will continue to expand. Additionally, given the various incentives available, many PHEVs are actually cheaper than their non-plug-in siblings (e.g. PriPri vs. regular Prius).

Robert Weekley

MB had a vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show, that was a Research Future Vehicle, that was equipped with a similar drive system, but got 100 Miles on Battery, plus about 400 miles on the H2 FC, a few years back, so this is what became of that idea?!!

John Doe

The idea is good, now just add a 100km real world range, and install it in a passenger van.. and sell it $60k, and I’m a customer for sure.

John

Hey Mercedes, I can save you a lot of complication and issues: ditch the gasoline and hydrogen and just install a really large battery and call it a day. Plug in, drive 250+ miles, rinse, repeat. It ain’t hard. (Psst- your competition is already doing it)

You’re welcome.

Lou Grinzo

All car companies will get there, eventually. But for now they perceive a significant financial advantage to them and to their dealers in preserving the cost and complexity of gasoline or H2 fueling. This won’t last, as the dropping battery prices will make it far too advantageous for some competitors among the legacy car makers to break from the pack. Once that happens, the foot draggers will have no choice but to join the parade.

Yes, this will take much longer than it “should”, and certainly longer than we plugheads would prefer. But a group of competitors can ignore an overwhelming technology shift for only so long.

antrik

Thanks to Tesla, it doesn’t even need any legacy makers to break from the pack… As long as the legacy makers drag their feet, Tesla will simply keep eating away their market shares 🙂

SansIce

Yes! You said exactly what I was thinking. I guess I don’t understand the desire to create all of this complexity other than creating some kind of network or fuel that we will be reliant upon. I live in Seattle which is not exactly sun center. We power both of our cars from an array on our garage. Big batteries and solar panels are so much more simple and independent. Someone please educate me – I just don’t get what makes any complicated and infrastructure laden FC technology more desirable.

John

There is no education needed. In fact, the simplicity of BEV and solar are are actually lost on folks conditioned by decades of living with complex ICE machines and power plants, grids, etc. They don’t think it can be as simple as it actually is.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

We don’t yet have very cheap batteries or very fast charging.
Until then, companies will continue to work on alternatives.
I think PHFCV has a better theoretical chance than HFCV, because it only adds the charger, along with increasing the capacity, but in doing so decreases the advances required related to hydrogen fuel, instead emphasizing advances in the fuel cell.
But, BEV still looks like the clear winner.

John

If no one took the step forward to produce batteries in scale and refine battery efficiency, like Tesla, then we’d never solve the battery problem you speak of. What disgusts me are the legacy manufacturers who sit back and let Tesla do the heavy lifting for them and then later profit on Tesla’s hard work. But that’s the world we live in, at least economy of scale is happening.

antrik

They did. It’s called EQC.

antrik

BTW, a bit off-topic, but I saw a billboard advertisement for the EQC yesterday. (Right next to one for the new BMW i3…) That made me chuckle. How often do you see advertisements for a car that won’t hit dealers for another year or so?…

Will

Where at

antrik

You mean where I saw the billboard? Berlin Gesundbrunnen railroad station.

menorman

This is potentially lighter, so that’s certainly part of why they designed it like this.

Will

They do it’s the EQC

Makes sense since all the EV components are already there.

F150 Brian

It’s a matter of using the right tool for the job. City dwellers are clearly better of with medium range BEVs (like a Leaf).

A fuel cell powered by propane as a range extender added to a vehicle designed to be a BEV would be a really good bridge to the future for several market segments since there is widespread access to propane in rural areas where fast chargers won’t be for many years.

That way the architecture of the vehicle can evolve now without waiting for superchargers and cost effective batteries (and no, not even Tesla is there on either aspect yet).

To be effective, the battery needs to be large enough to provide around 100 miles range. That way a small, lower cost, lower packing volume fuel cell can silently add additional juice when the driver knows they need it

CDspeed

Still fooling around.

Philip

I find this tremendous advance of Mercedes a tad confusing. Use the battery EV part of it (you know, the bit for which there is a worldwide existing network of charging facilities) for short commutes, and provide a FC system for longer distances. That is, if your idea of a road trip is a maximum of about 200km – because any more than that and you’ll be out of range of the few H2 filling stations which may be working on the day you’ve chosen.

No wonder the legacy manufacturers are whining that the push for EVs is crippling them financially – they’re making it as complex as possible to produce vehicles that will be so impractical that customers won’t buy them. . . thus proving them correct in their claims.

G2

“Lip service”

K L

as a tesla and leaf owner, i find everyone’s disdain for a FC-PHEV very close-minded.

driving on the tesla supercharger network is great, but i can’t “top-up” on the last closest supercharger near my destination, because supercharging from 80% to 100% takes forever and for very little gain! this applies to chademo as well.

an H2 tank doesn’t have this issue. so if the mercedes is half-full and won’t see another filling station for miles, they can still top-off without wasting much time.

let’s not be blind to the advantages of a competing system. i have concerns about the safety of a 700-bar H2 tank at year 10, but lets not resort to being myopic about the H2’s refilling infrastructure out of spite.

antrik

If the battery is large enough to begin with, the tapering is not much of an issue in practice. As technology advances, it will be even less of a concern soon enough — long before fuel cells become affordable… (If ever.)

Besides, even when we accept the premise that a range extender is necessary, there are serious questions about whether using hydrogen for the range extender instead of more traditional fuels really provides any ecological benefit…

Do Not Read Between The Lines

I’d disagree. It eliminates the cold start problem, eliminates tail pipe toxins, moves emissions upstream where they are more easily managed, as well as providing a relatively “simple” path to renewable fuel synthesis.
But the cost challenges of the fuel seem so difficult to overcome.

antrik

Most of these benefits would also be provided by a fuel cell running on traditional fuels, though… And that’s way more realistic, since while the fuel cell is still expensive, it avoids the large and expensive hydrogen tanks, expensive fuel, expensive fuelling infrastructure, various losses…

Jason

So you’re saying you just drive a few hundred miles but when you get to your destination you want to use a Super Charger to go from 80% to 100% charge? I assume your destination doesn’t have a charger, but I don’t really understand why you would want to “top up” in that scenario. Wouldn’t you just use that 80% charge and then Super Charge when it gets back down to 30% or so?
I mean, very rarely would I stop at the service station to fill from 3/4 full to full. I’d just wait until I’m at 1/4 or less then fill to full.
I don’t get your comment, it sounds like such an edge case, or uneducated case to me. Sort of like, “I have a Tesla, but the FCEV would be better”. Sound off to you? Did to me.

G2

Interesting that we are seeing all these so called “EV owners” standing up for dirty, polluting, H2 when they are names we’ve rarely, or never, seen before…like they are only here to promote Big Oil H2 economics.

menorman

The H2 network is expanding, though a bit slower than initially hoped. But all they really need to do is put one in Vegas and the market will really expand quite a bit.

Blablubb

Why is the EV community so hostile towards other clean technology competition? Would it be so awful if long distance truck traffick would run with F cells rather than on battery. If yes, please elaborate why.

G2

If you need it explained, then you probably won’t understand (or are intentionally overlooking the obvious), but it has to do with how H2 is made.

Bla blubb

For example by electrolysis? From PV or wind power generated electricity?

antrik

That’s inefficient (and thus expensive) compared to batteries — but even when not considering competition from batteries, there are serious doubts whether electrolysis will ever become financially viable at all.

Get Real

Um, maybe because it takes 3 times the electricity to go the same distance on a fool cell then it would by just putting that electricity straight into a battery.

So a fool cell is only 1/3 as efficient as a BEV and that is not mentioning that the hydrogen hoax fueling stations costs millions of dollars to construct and run and for that reason all the H2 filling stations as well as the H2 is heavily subsidized.

Look, if the Big Oil companies who stand to benefit from selling fuel at their stations want to pay the trillions of dollars in costs of establishing national networks of H2 manufacturing, distribution and fueling stations then I won’t complain since it will only hasten their bankruptcies.

However, they expect the taxpayers to instead subsidize the whole boondoggle so no thanks.

Dimitrij

There is small and insular, but vociferous segment on the margins of the online EV community that declares a heresy and a conspiracy anything outside of their orthodox mindbox.

I know a few EV owners, and I have met many more at the Drive Electric week events. I have never heard the “fool cell” cr@p from a single real-life owner of Teslas, i3’s, Bolts or Leafs. Not a single time.

I like non-plug hybrids and FCEV’s because they are better than ICE. I like PHEV’s because they are better than non-plugs. I like BEV’s, with- or w/o range extenders. I am glad when any progress is being made in the field, be it batteries, fuel cells, whatever.

SansIce

I love your optimism but find myself much more skeptical. FC tech is nothing other than an attempt to keep us reliant on big oil with a lot of feel good green washing camouflaging the whole thing. No thanks – hate the complexity, hate the reliance, hate the inefficiency..

Djoni

Probably not outside your mind.

I’m an EV fan if I so coud be called and I don’t care much about what would propel my car, if it’s clean all the way from well to wheel and at a cheaper rate thant actual offering.

Efficiency is paramount to get to a sustainable future, and right now and for time to come, hydrogen does not give much benefit.

Just do the math, and it’s clear hydrogen is expensive, complicated, and leave you at the mercy of whoever could provide you some.

It’s just a pratical thinking, much more than to addict at a great speed of fueling, that you won’t probably never have to use.

So much wishful thinking in the H² proposition, it’s not logical.
If it were the only solution, it could live, but there is better option, and now battery is way more better offering.

antrik

Thing is, it’s not all that clear that hydrogen fuel cells are actually better than combustion engines from an ecological point of view. People who buy them basically get duped into thinking they are doing something for the environment, when in truth most of the time they aren’t.

Jason

I own a Leaf. I hope my next BEV is a Tesla. I’d say I think FCEV is a huge waste of time, effort, and resources given how BEV have turned out. I’m no genius, but simple math shows that FCEV is many times more expensive, on every measure whether looking at infrastructure, manufacturing or operating, than BEV. The only thing that BEV currently lacks is the very fast refueling times of ICE and FC, but I seriously wonder if that is more an issue for legacy thinking than real world. In my situation the car is 90% ready to go every day after a nightly charge. The other 10% I’m happy to wait given the overall benefit and convenience of not going out of my way to a service station. I can’t recall the last time I had to wait to refuel my BEV because while it was doing that, I was doing something else.

antrik

This gets elaborated in much detail every time the topic is brought up. And I’m pretty sure you have seen the discussions before.

(For the benefit of others reading along though: the short version is that it’s arguable whether hydrogen fuel cells are actually a clean technology at all. For the most part, they are just used to distract from actual clean technologies.)

Dimitrij

This is certainly a much better proposition than the Mirai or the Clarity FCEV, but wouldn’t it be better to have a much larger battery that would cover the daily driving needs, and the FC in the range extender role?

Do Not Read Between The Lines

I think it’s just the state of current technologies.
The battery here can be used in a PHEV as well.
Technology get cheaper and better, increase use of it.

G2

H2…just…why…?

Prsnep

For fast charging.

John Doe

And easy to make with excess solar and wind power. There will in our lifetime be excess electricity production.

G2

Any electricity used in electrolysis is wasted making H2 when it can be better put into a battery, but trolls and foolcell fans keep bringing up their B.S.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Or go one step on and synthesize methane. Additional loss, but we already use and store it more easily.
The cost of the fuel tank is a big deal, because we have need for storage to deal with periodic and seasonal variation in renewable energy production and energy demand.

Prsnep

If you have to resort to name calling, you don’t have a good argument.

G2

…and repeating H2 BS *is* an argument…how??

mustang_sallad

This car is a nightmare for any companies trying to build a business around providing H2 as a fuel. It’s one thing to build a $2M fueling station that has a captive audience that needs to come to you for 100% of their fueling needs. It’s a whole other ballgame if your customers now charge at home for 90% of their driving and only come to you once a month for the occasional longer trip.

Bean

This has a similar concept like a Chevy Volt. I have a Chevy Volt for my wife. It also supports 35 miles battery mode and gas engine mode 250 miles. We have used Volt with battery mode in most of the driving time over 90%. We have enjoyed the electric mode and never concerned about battery recharging because of the gas engine. The FCEV already needs a small battery in it. This GLC F-CELL just might increase the battery capability a little bit more and put the charging system at the FCEV original one. I definitely upgrade my vehicle to this type of plug-in FCEV if it will come. Maybe, the battery only vehicle never survives in the future because of charging problem never solve.

antrik

They don’t specify the power of the fuel cell stack? Kinda suspicious…

I have an inkling the real purpose of the larger battery is so they can get away with a smaller (thus cheaper) fuel cell stack, and the charging capability is just a side effect.

Rolando

Maybe it’s really like the BMW i3 REx : the generator has only 60% of the re-charging capability of the engines KW consumption, so with empty battery your propulsion power will be limited. No problem for commuting, but limiting for high speed or uphill driving. Maybe that’s why the top-speed of the FEV Mercedes is limited to 160 kph, lower than the 180 kph of BEV.

antrik

Some people occasionally bring up leakage as a downside of hydrogen vehicles. I don’t know whether that’s a real concern: but if it is, that would make a hydrogen PHEV pretty inconvenient, since basically you’d want to make sure you only ever fill up on hydrogen before/during longer trips, and otherwise try to keep the tank empty…

Rolando

The hefty leakage of 50% in 2 weeks was more for cryogenic tanks (minus 255C) I think, but a 700 bar H2 tank is still leaking thou.
And indeed what I read about the reason for this plug-in FEV is just to enable reaching the next (usually far away) hydrogen fuel station to fill up for longer road-trips.

Jason

I find it interesting that nobody discusses the impact on trucking that BEV has. Currently there is a service station near me and I see the truck come there once per week. There are at least 50 service stations in my town I know of, so that’s 50 trucks potentially. With BEV that’s 50 trucks off our local roads and highways. Multiple that by all the service stations, it’s got to be thousands of trucks.
Unfortunately for these truck drivers BEV puts them out of business, but really it’s going to be a huge benefit to society. BEV is not just the local impact zero emissions has from the vehicle, it is also the elimination of emissions from those utility vehicles that will make a huge difference just that much greater.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Save 9,000 gallons, save a tanker trip.

G2

Interesting that we are seeing all these so called “EV owners” standing up for dirty, polluting, H2 when they are names we’ve rarely, or never, seen before…like they are only here to promote Big Oil H2 economics.

Rolando

As H2 is currently produced from natural gas ( methane CH4) rather than from electrolysis (30% efficiency power to wheel) ) maybe Gazprom is more interested in this hydrogen economy …..

Milfan

Combining Plug and Fuel cell is a nice concept since the engine can be eliminated. Yes the cheaper electricity can be used daily for short commutes while the expensive hydrogen can be used for long distance trips. But this will be sold only California state, Germany and Japan where hydrogen stations are available.

The fuel cell vehicles sold by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai also have a small 1.5 KWh battery to capture the braking energy. If they can add a bigger 8 KWh battery and a plug, then Mirai, Clarify-FCV & Nexo will also become fuel cell-plugins.

Someone put a term Fuecel as a 1 word, probably we can use it in the place of fuel cell which is 2 words.

Chris S

I don’t know why there is such hostility towards fuel cells. In most simulated 100% renewable energy systems, there is a residual energy gap so energy still has to be transferred seasonally because of intermittency problems. Battery systems will never be economical to cycle once per year. Hydrogen can solve this. Now putting it into cars seems inefficient, but if fuel cell costs drop it is both economically and ecologically sound.

Slaven

So, instead of waking up every morning to a full charge, you’re driving an EV that you have to also take to hydrogen station to fill up. Very convenient!

Bill Howland

I have to admit: this car would be far more practical for me, since if I owned the Toyota Mirai, I’d have to have the car air lifted to California every week.

But this car will at least go 30 miles on electric juice – that I happen to have in my home since there are no Hydrogen Dispenseries in the area even being planned.

Will

Non polluting Phev. That’s great

Louis Henn

This car makes sense in many different ways:
1. The battery will probably only be used day to day, and the hydrogen for long trips.
2. Suddenly, you only need to install fueling stations(which is very expensive), along the highway.
3. It is basically a PHEV, but non-polluting. Therefore it brings the advantages of both EV and ICE, without needing an ICE.
4. It goes for the argument that you don’t need 500km of range for your daily journey.
5. Since it is a much smaller battery, and there is a shortage of batteries in the industry, you can theoretically build much more of these. Imagine if Hyundai adopted this in the Kona, they would be able to produce 4 times as much cars. And the quicker we get people away from ICE, the better.
6. For day to day journeys, you charge overnight. For long trips, when you only want to stop at a restroom for 5 mins, you fill up with hydrogen.

Louis Henn

That said, there are things they can improve on. Either a larger battery (option) to enable 100km of range. Or one of those new cells that can generate power and use it to create hydrogen. Then once the battery is full, the power from the plug can regenerate hydrogen from water.