Mercedes-Benz Delivers First GLC F-Cell Plug-In Hybrid

NOV 13 2018 BY MARK KANE 101

The new species has been born.

Mercedes-Benz has begun deliveries of the first GLC F-CELL units, which is called the world’s first electric vehicle featuring a fuel cell and plug-in hybrid technology.

We believe that for Daimler it’s just a small pilot project as, despite more than 30 years of hydrogen fuel cell development, the German company is currently shifting most R&D to all-electric and plug-in hybrids.

The GLC F-CELL will be available only in select major cities that are equipped with hydrogen filling stations, such as Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Cologne.

Moreover, only a small number of GLC F-CELL will be delivered to selected customers and only in a full-service rental model, which sounds more like public beta tests of the immature technology.

“At market launch the SUV will be handed over successively to selected customers in Germany. The GLC F-CELL will be offered exclusively 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.”

“From the spring of 2019, other business as well as private customers will also be able to experience the new fuel cell technology and rent the vehicle via Mercedes-Benz Rent from one of the seven GLC F-CELL outlets throughout Germany. The GLC F-CELL will be available for both short and long-term rental via the Premium Car Rental service from Mercedes-Benz.”

Especially the refueling infrastructure needs to be expanded. It’s expected that the number of stations in Germany will increase from 50 to about 100 by the end of 2019.

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
  • hydrogen consumption of around 1 kg/100 km
  • H2 tanks capacity: 4.4 kg of hydrogen (700-bar tank)
  • 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
17 photos
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: Market launch of the world’s first electric vehicle featuring fuel cell and plug-in hybrid technology

Berlin. Mercedes-Benz is setting a further milestone on the road to emission-free driving with the handover of the first GLC F-CELL vehicles to selected customers in the German market. 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 unique worldwide as it features both fuel cells and a battery drive which can be charged externally using plug-in technology. Alongside various national and regional ministries as well as the National Organisation Hydrogen (NOW) and H2 Mobility, the first customers in the German market also include Deutsche Bahn, the German railways. Further handovers will also be made this year, including to the companies Air Liquide, Shell, Linde AG and also the cities of Stuttgart and Hamburg. Other business as well as private customers in Germany will also be able to enjoy access to the GLC F-CELL from the spring of 2019 via Mercedes-Benz Rent.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL is a unique plug-in hybrid as apart from electricity it can also run on pure hydrogen. The SUV is an all-electric vehicle suitable for everyday use which emits no CO2 emissions whatsoever during operation. The interplay between battery and fuel cell, a long range and short refuelling times make the GLC F‑CELL a vehicle which boasts high everyday practicality. Two carbon-fibre-encased tanks in the vehicle floor hold 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardised 700-bar tank technology, the hydrogen supply can be replenished within just three minutes – as quickly as is customary when refuelling a combustion-engined car. With a hydrogen consumption of around 1 kg/100 km, the GLC F-CELL achieves around 430 hydrogen-based kilometres1 in the NEDC cycle; in hybrid mode it additionally delivers up to 51 km1 on a fully charged battery. At the same time, an output of 155 kW helps to ensure high driving dynamics.

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.

Marketing in hydrogen cities

In view of the new technology and the fact that the hydrogen filling station network has only just started to expand, the market launch of the GLC F-CELL is taking place in selected metropolitan regions. Above all the focus is on major cities which are already comparatively well equipped with hydrogen filling stations, such as Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Cologne. At market launch the SUV will be handed over successively to selected customers in Germany. The GLC F-CELL will be offered exclusively 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.

Experience fuel cell technology – renting the GLC F-CELL

From the spring of 2019, other business as well as private customers will also be able to experience the new fuel cell technology and rent the vehicle via Mercedes-Benz Rent from one of the seven GLC F-CELL outlets throughout Germany. The GLC F-CELL will be available for both short and long-term rental via the Premium Car Rental service from Mercedes-Benz.

Infrastructure is of vital importance

A full-coverage infrastructure is an essential requirement for the success of electric mobility in Germany. Both the expansion of electric charging stations as well hydrogen refuelling stations is currently being pushed ahead. Whether at home, at work, on the road or when shopping: currently there are already various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Also when it comes to the hydrogen infrastructure, progress is constantly being made. Together with its partners in the H2 Mobility joint venture, Daimler has drawn up a plan of action. By the end of 2019, the hydrogen refuelling station network is already expected to grow from its current level of 50 to some 100 stations. The long-term objective of the partners is a network of up to 400 hydrogen refuelling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being promoted in Europe, the USA and Japan.

Daimler is part of Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME), a lighthouse project promoted by FCH JU which combines Europe’s leading initiatives in the field of hydrogen mobility – in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. Via H2ME, the FCH JU is promoting the expansion of a large-scale H2 filling station infrastructure and the development of fuel cell vehicles such as the GLC F-CELL with the goal of enabling emission-free driving all over Europe. Daimler AG has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 671438 and No 700350. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.

Pioneer: Daimler has been working on the fuel cell for more than 30 years

Daimler researchers have been working on fuel cell 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.

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. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.

Categories: Mercedes

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

101 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz Delivers First GLC F-Cell Plug-In Hybrid"

newest oldest most voted

This may just be the worst idea that has ever existed. They took a PHEV, threw out the gas tank and engine, and replaced it with an H2 tank. So you’ve now got all the cons of an ordinary PHEV (tiny battery with limited range and little purpose to recharging in the middle of a longer trip) coupled with all the cons of an ordinary fuel cell vehicle (crazy high prices, nonexistant infrastructure, and the general question of why it exists in the first place.)

I wonder if this thing will end up taking the cake as not only the worst selling HFCV of all time, but also the worst selling Plugin of all time?

Well, it’s not going to sell at all, since Mercedes are renting them. So… yeah, worst-selling.

But… I pity the engineers who had to work on this. What a waste of time on their resumes.

Don’t tell that to Roger Pham or Hydrogen First!

Resume interview, at plenty of co’s like Exxon: “I see you’ve worked on hydrogen. That means you’ll come work on Algae, for us? (wink)”. The world is filled with companies, whose engineers shut up, stay in their lane and get paid.

I wonder why this forecast is so optimistic? Is the Japanese government going to install a fueling infrastructure? Are they going to subsidize the expense of hydrogen production? Are they going to subsidize the cost of the vehicles themselves? Are they going to mandate fuel cell vehicles? Why is the outlook so bullish in Japan and nowhere else?

Toyota is still making a big bet on hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Yes, the Japanese government is pushing it so hard.

So are China and Korea but you probably won’t be reading about this on North American EV sites – maybe because no one seems to know what is going on there WRT hydrogen.

The article is 1,5 years old, what has happened since then? Almost nothing.

They (the government) will subsidize H2 infrastructure and cars in Norway at least. Just like they did and still does for EVs.

When volumes increase cost will come down. Fuel cells are much cheaper now, then the last generation.

Given a low enough price, there will be a market for this. It will not be the same scale as EVs, but provide a hybrid with no emissions.


“Why is the outlook so bullish in Japan and nowhere else?” Nowhere else? Really? The European Union is moving towards a hydrogen economy for industry, heating, power generation and storage, transportation (cars, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes), and synthetic chemicals and fuels. The EU is building a pan-European hydrogen highway across Europe. You can already drive a HFCV from Norway all the way to Italy and Spain. Germany already has 50 H2 stations now, with 100 stations to be open by 2020 and 400 open in a few years time. Russia, the 800-lb gorilla in the room called Europe, recently announced that in the future they want to supply Europe with green hydrogen for their planned hydrogen economy and help Europe meet it Paris Accord CO2 reduction goals. Geopolitically, Europe does not want to be dependent on Russia for its energy supply as it is now with natural gas (especially in winter), but it needs to dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions to meet its target under the Paris Accord. Russia is planning to continue delivering it’s non-fracked low-carbon natural gas to Europe via pipeline since it is more energy dense than hydrogen and would avoid metal embrittlement issues with… Read more »

Wow thanks for the write up Impartial Observer.
It’ really ironic how the arguments BEV proponents use against FCEVs resemble the ones ICE proponents use against BEVs:
– it’s hard to refuel/charge
– it’s more expensive
– it generates pollution (for batteries/hydrogen production)
– it has limited lifespan (for battery/fuels cells)
– it’s dangerous (electrocution/hydrogen tank rupture)
Sounding familiar? It’s also funny how many BEV proponents do not realize that FCEVs are indeed ELECTRIC vehicles with a very similar principle of operation as batteries.

I do wish we got rid of this fanboyism and talk realistic solutions with pros ans cons. It’s not all black and white for neither technology. MB’s car is a great idea combining the strengths of batteries and Fuel Cells and I can only hope that rational people would be able to see through this unwarranted negativity.

I personally think that if Hydrogen technology sees a large decline in cost, H2 PHEVs might make sense, especially if H2 for long-haul semi trucks ends up panning out. You put the H2 stations on the highways (perhaps they would already exist at truck stops by then), and then you have a 40 mile EV with a 250 mile H2 backup.

Unlike a gas PHEV, the drivetrains of FCEVs and BEVs are identical at the wheels; they would use the same motor and no transmission would be required. Also, FCs are solid state if I’m not mistaken, which helps reduce maintenance. Still have the “2 power plants” issue but I would think that a FCEV is still less maintenance heavy than an ICE.

It’s a white elephant mate. Hydrogen as a vehicle fuel is about as dead as a dodo in the real world.
The only thing keeping it alive is the thirty years of wasted research and billions of dollars down the drain. It must hurt like hell.
Sooner or later a brave CEO will have to bring the sword down on this boon-doggle technology once and for all. It won’t be long.

Well, what you are doing here:
“Sounding familiar? It’s also funny how many BEV proponents do not realize that FCEVs are indeed ELECTRIC vehicles with a very similar principle of operation as batteries.”
is just cheap reframing. This has always been the misunderstanding of FC proponents. These people did not know for years, that FC-vehicles are EVs.

FCVs are a FOOLs ERRAND , the most expensive “FUEL’ you cannot find on top of no Infras.

It’s funny you don’t realize Hydrogen is very energy intensive to produce and contain, the infras
virtually impossible to find, while every house in the Western world has an electric plug VERY FUNNY!

Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC):

Map of hydrogen fueling station in Europe:

“Russia is planning to continue delivering it’s non-fracked low-carbon natural gas to Europe via pipeline since it is more energy dense than hydrogen and would avoid metal embrittlement issues with its pipeline. Once the natural gas arrives in Europe, Russia/Gasprom plans to remove the carbon via thermal methane pyrolysis. “This reaction takes place in a low-temperature, non-equilibrium plasma that’s put under high pressure in a small reactor. . . . With no contact with oxygen, no CO2 is emitted when hydrogen atoms are split off from natural gas. That process makes a stream of pure hydrogen, with carbon dropping out as a solid instead of escaping into the air as CO2. That solid carbon can be used in industries. If wind or solar farms are used to generate energy needed for that process, zero emissions would be used in manufacturing the hydrogen.”

So… Europe is still dependent on Russia to supply them natural gas for their energy. Yea Europe! Good job on planning your future. I hope you love your Russian masters and over lords as much as we love ours. Seriously, the world can’t get any stupider. We have hit rock bottom.

They could get the energy from Norway, if they really had to – but Russia has been a stable supplier for years, and they already have the pipelines.

If they wanted to spend billions to extend pipelines, they could probably continue the pipelines that goes from Norway to Germany, Belgium and France – and extend them to other countries, or to the south of the 3 countries.

Don’t know why people are so paranoid about Russia. They have fulfilled their contracts, and this is business for them. They sell a product people need. It is best for the environment if Russia can ship their gas through pipellines, insted of using ships to do so. Keeps gas prices normal as well.

They could also add pipelines from the south and south east of Europe to get more sources. Not that they would be more stable. People should probably be prepared to change their energy needs from gas to electricity over the next decade or two. Go for a natural change, when heaters/cook tops need to be replaced, replace with electric. If the energy comes from more or less CO2 neutral sources that is. Gas is way better then coal for example.

Hmmmm… those preorder queues for hydrogen vehicles are so looooong /s

Do Not Read Between The Lines
What people _want_ and what can be achieved are two different things. “Moving towards”. If by that you mean there are more demonstration projects, then sure. If you mean that it’s not as horribly expensive as it was, then sure. But when you still have expensive vehicles, expensive infrastructure and expensive fuel, there’s a lot of work left to be done. PEV, in contrast, has expensive vehicles, cheap infrastructure, and cheap fuel. There’s a single cost challenge, and that’s forecast to be overcome within the next 7 years. And, in overcoming the cost challenge, it will also help improve the cost of fuel. And the fuel itself is separately forecast to become cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable. HFCV was pushed at a time when NiMH batteries were state of the art, and renewable electricity generation was insanely expensive. But we now have lithium-ion batteries heading to $100/kWh or less, continuing price reduction in power electronics, and solar and wind power already the cheapest electricity by levelized cost in some locations, with more cost reductions and efficiency improves coming, creating a huge synergy between electrified transportation and renewable electricity, all connected by battery storage. You never say never with technology, but… Read more »

Impartial Observer- “Elsewhere, Korea is also moving towards a hydrogen economy. They plan on converting their entire fleet of 18,000 public buses to HFC …….”

I think you’ll find that what they are actually intending is to make about that number – EMISSION FREE, which isn’t quite the same thing. As an initial step, I believe there is currently ONE bus operating (!) with plans for another 30 next year – but these are intended somewhat experimentally.

Whether the next 17,970 will be battery electric or fuel cell remains to be seen……. 😀

To say they are “planning for the entire fleet to be fuel cell” is at best premature, and misleading.

(Reference, )


Nope, South Korea is replacing their entire CNG bus fleet with hydrogen fuel cell buses.

“The government (of South Korea) will replace some 26,000 compressed natural gas buses nationwide with hydrogen-electric vehicles in cooperation with Hyundai to promote the technology.”

“Some 26,000 CNG buses were registered as of the end of January. The government and Hyundai want to replace 2,000 of them with hydrogen-electric vehicles per year.”

Per your link:
“Hyundai Motors will begin mass production of next-generation hydrogen electric buses. . .”

More info on South Korea’s can be found in the link below.

“The South Korean government and businesses will invest some 2.6 trillion won (US $2.33 billion) over the next five years in a public-private partnership to speed up the development of the country’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle ecosystem, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).”

“The target is to be able to install 310 hydrogen stations by 2022 to supply 16,000 fuel cell vehicles. The funds will be spent on building plants for fuel cell vehicles and fuel cell stacks, manufacturing fuel cell buses and developing hydrogen storage systems.”

Japan,China,US and Korea are all promoting FCV,but yes, you’re right, besides those ,who else is doing anything?Right,add in EU.

You belive in such graphs? My 2 years old boy can do better. Fuel cell cars has loosen the battle. Compare to BEVs, no bigger range, poor efficiency. The last advantage is the fast refueling, but with 800V fast charger (350 kW) you can also recharge 200 km of range in 10 minutes..

Hopefully, your 2-year old can spell better than you. 😉

Wow, a spell critic, congratulations, very very very low argumentation.

Peter is right, the graph is just wildly speculative.

Yes, FC EVs have lost the battle. Just like LEDs are hopeless loosers replacing legacy incandescent light bulbs. Why would you need to invest into expensive LED production lines if we CFL bulbs that got very cheap and they perform perfectly well when you take care to use them properly?

We really need to get the whole “lose” and “loose” spellings correct.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Straw man.

The only benefit of CFL was cost. Nobody _liked_ them.

LED rapidly took over from CFL because of better performance, lower energy cost, and lower maintenance costs. You also don’t ever have to evacuate because of dangerous vapor.

Fail, yes, but unlike other total crap FCEV, it has decent power motor at 211 HP. Let’s hope they expand on the motor and drop the brutal money wasting (I know, it’s Mercedes not BMW) fuel cell.

It is a good idea, traditional PHEVs are wasteful having multiple engines and multiple fuels, this has the same engine (motor) for both fuel cell and battery, just make the battery larger.

I would still buy a BEV, but if you can make the fuel cell component costs less and have less production emissions than say 50 kWh of extra cells it could be a good bet.

To be most environmentally friendly you want the smallest battery possible to get the range you need. This hybrid fuel source could be a way to get there, presuming you don’t use H2 much.

The fuel cell is a very poor performer on both energy and power fronts. A typical ICE genset delivers way better also as backup device. Not to mention the tanks under high pressure… there are huge amusements there.

Xcel, stop spreading FUD and Fake news. The current gen PEM fuel cells are about 60% efficient, while gasoline ICE are only 41% efficient in Toyota’s latest hybrids. That’s why the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity HFCV have much higher EPA MPG ratings than Toyota’s ICE hybrid sedans.

When Toyota or any manufacturer is selling (NOT LEASING) FOOLCELLS and not giving away the”FUEL” the I will say FCVs time has arrived, until then these companies are just FOOLING US.

FYI you can buy, not lease, a Toyota Mirai.

No one is buying them. There is no value, at all.

why buy an UGLY MIRAI that has no Infras in CANADA? I can buy any BEV and plug in my house, FCVs are DOA, DOA ,DOA , DOA, capish? Comprende?

Fuel cell cars are not 60% efficient and ICE cars (including latest hybrids) are not 41% efficient. Please stop spreading completely wrong and misleading numbers.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Mirai is 66mpge
Prime is 54mpg/133mpge
Anyone who can drive 30.61% electric would, at EPA ratings, be better off in the Prime.
It only costs $28k. And the fuel is cheap.

To “Impartial Observer” – quoting fuel cell efficiency is pretty meaningless in isolation. That simply relates to the hydrogen to electricity part. You’ll get further efficiency losses (big ones) in generating the hydrogen in the first place, and subsequently compressing it etc.

The only figure that matters is how much of an original kWh of electricity gets converted into actual motive force. And via the hydrogen/fuel cell route it’s somewhere between 20-25% – via battery storage it’s about 75%.

Hydrogen’ s appeal as an energy carrier and storage medium for road transport only really came about due to the high costs of batteries and charging limitations 15-20 years ago. It’s all changed now. Batteries are far cheaper and charging speeds vastly quicker than they were then. Given that, the use of hydrogen and fuel cells for road transport no longer makes sense.

Fuel cells can be CO2 neutral, ICE engines can not. That is where the MAIN should be. IF they can make the fuel cells cheap and good enough, it will be good for us all.
If people are afraid their Tesla stocks will fall in value due to fuel cells – they don’t have to worry. Fuel cells will offer a solution where batteries are not the best solution, or as an extra range extender or in areas with no electricity or some equipment recuire a battery that is too big to be economical to buy. Whatever..
Most cars will be EVs, but to be negative to fuel cells that can be a better solution for the environment then an ICE engine is – that is foolish.
As for the tanks under pressure – that have been through crash tests and passed.. I don’t see that as a huge problem. It is just new.
In Norway almost no houses use gas for heating and cooking.. and people here probably feels the same way of people that is cracy enough to have a gas line inside their home..

To Kohn Doe – “As for the tanks under pressure – that have been through crash tests and passed.. I don’t see that as a huge problem. It is just new.”

Not new – just worse. I have no experience of hydrogen in a car, but do have experience with LPG in a car. Unfortunately, somebody in my company thought such was a good idea…..

Gas under pressure (though not 700bar!) was a concern, but we were assured an “excess flow preventer” would prevent any catastrophic failure. Maybe it would have….. In my case, vibration caused a fatigue crack and slow leakage for a period of time. Until ultimately it completely failed causing total power loss on a motorway at speed…..

In practice, I was lucky. If it hadn’t failed then, the car would have been garaged at home with a nearly full tank, and would all have escaped overnight, likely to be ignited when the boiler came on in the morning. Maybe I was unlucky, yes, but LPGcars are banned from the channel tunnel and many underground car parks in Europe.

Gas is simply a bad idea for fuelling cars, and hydrogen (at 700 bar!) doesn’t change that.

A poor leftover from the past, they had to release something, for lease-only. How lame.

Great idea but will just never work, so glad the oil industry won’t have us queuing at there hydrogen fueling stations to rip us off, but do hope they continue to invest(waste) there money in this technology.

I don’t think thay are investing in the fuel cell tech anymore, it is the battery and the plug which is taking over. They are also the largest truck manufacturer, no fuel cell truck on the horizon, but plenty of battery ones already deployed.

I used to enjoy more there fuel cells and wondered why nobody was selling FC-hybrids, and this one came late (and it is not even for sale). Actually it came too late. Since battery charging technology and infra-structure has improved so much lately and fuel cells not so much, it will be much harder to catch up now.

I don’t think this competition is over. True, ultra fast charging seems to be around the corner but it remains to be seen if it can scale. Also the impact on battery lifetime remains to be seen.

While it’s conceivable to see how (a big portions of) passenger cars can transition to BEVs, batteries will always suffer from a very low energy density and power to weight ratios. This makes them unsuitable for application where high endurance or power to weight ratios are requirements. In short I don’t see things like locomotives, planes, semi trucks (Sorry Tesla!), large SUVs, tractors, pickup trucks, power machinery etc. being powered with rechargable batteries in the observable future. FCEVs can very well pick up most of these applications. Their only drawback is the lack of infrastructure and once this is in place it would be very easy to trickle them down to passenger cars.

Yes That has been THE BIG DRAW BACK and will be FOREVER, the INFRAS. meanwhile there’s a plug in every house , heck even 3rd world countries have plugs

Rey, 99% of the 3rd world population is cramped in apartment blocks or in villages with barely adequate electricity to charge their phones. To suggest all of them will somehow switch to EVs and charge them at home, US style is naive to say the least.

Some of these issues apply to large portions of even more developed countries. For example Europe is densely populated and most people live in flats. EVs would require their own charging infrastructure there, just like the FCEVs would. Charging at home is an option for maybe 10% of the world population if not less.

Nothing against what you’ve said but you’ve left out that the same economic realities apply to fuel cells. If you barely can charge a phone then you can’t afford a BEV or FCEV.

I would argue that FCEVs have higher cost reduction potential than BEVs.
Due to it’s higher power density, a fuel cell requires 5 to 10 times less raw materials than equivalent battery, so in the long term they may win, the key is just to mass produce them.

The problem with the cost of H2 is similar – it needs only to be built on scale to become competitive. Did anyone notice when we built our natural gas infrastructure? It would be not much different with hydrogen, maybe even easier – due to low mass it’s easy to transport hydrogen liquefied or in large compressed tanks instead of pipelines.

BTW, BEVs in 3rd world countries burning coal to produce their electricity are worse for the environment (and likely more expensive) than equivalent ICEs.

To LevinK – “when we built our natural gas infrastructure? It would be not much different with hydrogen, maybe even easier – due to low mass it’s easy to transport hydrogen liquefied or in large compressed tanks instead of pipelines.”

Unfortunately no. Pipeline transport is problematic due to the effect of hydrogen on normal pipelines.

Liquefaction requires EXTREMELY low temperatures (2nd only to liquid helium) and complex vacuum flask storage, let alone a big energy cost just to perform the liquefaction.

And the problem with trucking is the weight of the pressure vessel relative to payload – a 40 ton truck can only carry 400kg fully laden! (You need about 15 H2 trucks for comparable vehicle mileage to a single gasoline tanker.)

All these issues have been around for years and are well known- which is why it’s so surprising that hydrogen for road transport is still being promoted. This link deals with the pure physics quite well, even if it’s quite old (and before batteries were viable):

And how should FCEVs be any more suitable for developing countries?

And you expect 3rd world countries to give away hydrogen “FUEL” please go see your Dr.
I came from a 3rd word country , We have home grown BEVs and EV trikes. FCV? you will never see ONE , EVER! And FYI everyone in that 3rd world country had a cellphone and thousands had smartphones, ( they had to teach me how to use my Samsung smart phone).LOL

Well there’s a plug in every house , tell us when you can supply us with that ReFooling Hydrogen Gizmo real cheap OK?

This could very well become the best-selling fuel cell vehicle.

it may even outsell the EV1

Predictable response from Musk diciples.

At least it doesn’t look like a weirdmobile.

Yes, could be, but therefore they have to sell it! Daimler did not release any date.

When can one buy it and how much does it cost? Still two open questions.

So much negativity for a car that doesn’t have an ICE, has much less components than a comparable PHEV and produces zero pollution. Some people are dead set against using anything else than rechargable batteries in our vehicles and would prefer a pollution generating PHEVs vs this, just to prove FCEVs can not work. Get your priorities right people

How do you know it has fewer components than other PHEVs?

For one it doesn’t have an ICE with its supporting components (cooling, transmission etc.), then it doesn’t need a generator since the cell outputs electricity directly. Two major and costly moving components replaced with a cell that works more like a battery. A win win.

Hydrogen is not zero pollution – it just moves the pollution from tailpipe to the plant where hydrogen is reformed from fracked gas. Renewable hydrogen is still as much of spectre as $35,000 tesla, while renewable grids are reality in many parts of world.

Absolutely right. FCEVs and EVs are both not zero pollution.

It really depends how you produce it, the same way it depends how you produce the electricity for BEVs. It’s actually much easier to produce 0 emission hydrogen than a 0 emission BEV.

Think that through again, since an H2 fool cell car has a battery as well, LevineK

To “LevinK” – it’s only true to say it’s “zero pollution” as far as tail pipe emissions go. There’s plenty of pollution back down the chain, amounts depending how the hydrogen is produced.

OK, true also to an extent with battery electric- but using hydrogen as the energy carrier will always be FAR less efficient than battery storage and there’s little improving technology will (can) do to change that. Electrolysis and compression will need a given energy to achieve the purpose and there is little technology can do to improve beyond a certain point.

Analogise with a kettle if you like. You may be able to make such better in some ways – but raising a litre of water from 20 to 100 C will inevitably need a given energy input, end of story.

“but using hydrogen as the energy carrier will always be FAR less efficient than battery storage”
I wouldn’t be so sure about that, it depends a lot on the technological path and currently it’s close to a tie.

If you start with natural gas (the most common energy source for electricity in US), use 60% efficient CCNG plant (the most efficient ones)), 90% efficient grid and 80% charging/discharging efficiency, the overall efficiency comes to 43%.

If you used the same natural gas to produce hydrogen with the cheapest steam reforming process, this is ~70% efficient, compressing and transporting it may take off another 10%, and PEM cell are about 60% efficient. 0.7 * 0.9 * 0.6 = 38%.

One advantage of hydrogen is that it’s much easier to clean up at the first step – e.g. it’s much easier to separate the polutants (CO2 etc.) from steam reforming or not have ones at all if you used electrolysis. The CO2 can be further pumped in underground or used for other purposes.

Overall, while it’s true that BEVs are closer to mainstream technological readiness, from environmental perspective FCEV can be the better choice long term.

LevinK – but you’re still then relying on hydrogen produced by reforming and the problem of getting it to the filling stations. That is far from trivial and worth posting again a link I gave elsewhere about some of the physics:

Such as Honda and Nikola are well aware of the issues which is why all their proposals are for supplying the stations with electricity for electrolysis and compression. Which brings a new set of issues…..!

You may be technically correct. The grim reality is that lots of electricity come from Gas or worse. But pitting Gas produced electricity against Gas produced hydrogen is only going to reinforce the image that hydrogen is just greenwashed fracked gas.

From environmental perspective, it would be better to leave gas in the ground. And for the hydrogen industry to work on replacing fossils in areas where batteries have not already been found a sufficient solution.

Tunny said: “. . . but using hydrogen as the energy carrier will always be FAR less efficient than battery storage. . .” In your efficiency calculation, you forgot to factor in (subtract) the excess renewable energy (solar and wind) that gets dumped when batteries get full. The efficiency of dumped renewable electricity is 0%, while using instead to make hydrogen is in essence 100% efficient since you’re basically reclaiming waste & uses no incremental energy resources to create. It’s better to store this excess renewable electricity as hydrogen, a less efficient energy carrier, than it is to dump it. The easiest way to make use of the hydrogen, would be to add it to the natural gas system up to a 20% concentration. This would lower the carbon footprint of a natural gas turbine thermal power plant. Otherwise, the H2 can be converted to ammonia (NH3) to be used to make fertilizer and other products, or H2 can be used as transportation fuel, etc. Look at Tesla’s solar PV farm with battery Energy Storage System that provides renewable energy for the evening peak when the sun isn’t shining. It’s not allowed to put electricity on the grid during the… Read more »
Impartial Observer said: “In your efficiency calculation, you forgot to factor in (subtract) the excess renewable energy (solar and wind) that gets dumped when batteries get full. The efficiency of dumped renewable electricity is 0%, while……..” Firstly, I very much doubt “terawatts” of renewable energy are being dumped by China, as I don’t think it (unfortunately) has that much in the first place…… In general, renewable energy only makes up a minority of power generation world wide, albeit a significant and ever growing one. As such it makes no sense to dump such, period, better to reduce the amount of fossil fuel generation instead during such a period. I can’t comment on a specific of such as Hawaii, but in general it can be down to contracts- if you operate a power station it’s most economic to have it in steady operation with a fairly fixed load. Environmentally it’s best to give renewable energy priority, and in the UK the change to do such happened a while ago. Being a situation where such generation is given priority whilst renewables are “dumped” is stupid – albeit to the benefit of fossil fuel station operators. And even with a surplus of renewable… Read more »

And you can only rent them…

Now that’s funny

Fool Cell !!

Wow, you are so clever! Did you come up with that term?

What a colossal waste of money and time this is. 10 years late and billions wasted later… these H2 demo cars are worthless. Anyone who buys one instead of an EV has been fooled. They are barely worthwhile for large bus fleets with central fuelling stations. Having recently driven that Merc as a loaner while my Model X was getting its trailer attachment added… I can attest to it being an over complicated junker. Having almost nowhere to fill up and costing way too much… they simply rent them. My guess is in a few years the governments will give these slow moving lunkheads a great tax write down on the wasted H2 money as they send these marvels off to the crushers with not so much as a tsk tsk. Imagine how much farther along Daimer dummies would be if they simply spent all that money on EVs. They might have some great ones by now. If they had simply stayed in with Tesla they could have been manufacturing Model 3s in Europe and making a mint with Tesla… but now it is flashy press events for H2 clown cars. Sheesh.

Jeffrey Songster said:
“Having recently driven that Merc as a loaner while my Model X was getting its trailer attachment added… I can attest to it being an over complicated junker. Having almost nowhere to fill up and costing way too much… they simply rent them.”

I call bullsh*t. Per the above press release, the GLC F-CELL was released just TODAY and is available only in Germany for now and can be leased only by government ministries and select organizations.

Jeffrey, you did NOT recently drive the GLC F-CELL as a loaner from Tesla (especially Tesla) while your Model X was getting serviced in California. There were/are absolutely no GLC F-CELL’s offered by rental companies in California or anyplace else in this world. You sir are a liar. 🤥

Ooh,,, you got me… never said it was the Fuel Cell monstrosity… I simply refer to the GLC vehicle base they mounted it in. It stunk on ice… literally. The user interface of the infotainment/ driving control system was a wreck. The User Input device was a convoluted mess… So… sorry to have misled you… but you really should drive any GLC and then go drive a Model X. There is absolutely no point as the Model X is head and shoulders above the overall driving precision and feel. SO… sorry to have made you think you had me… and then not… but… I wouldn’t take any Fuel Cell car if it were given to me. They remain a complete waste of time and money. The fuelling stations… which can only fill one at a time and need about 20 min refractory time before it can do it again. Each station costs over a million bucks… so how many SuperChargers can one get for that kind of dough. Sorry to have written imprecisely and upset you so.

I think Hydrogen first or Roger Pham has new cover.

Oh, OK. But I’ve got to call bulls*t again on your claim that you need to wait 20 minutes between hydrogen fills. You’re spreading FUD. Edmunds, Car & Driver & other publications have done long-term (6 month) reviews of the Mirai and they have filled up their cars right away after waiting for another car to finish fueling. In fact they had practically no problems fueling up.

We should remember that the vast majority of hydrogen is produced from natural gas (methane fossil fuel): . Until this changes, fuel cell vehicles are actually fossil fuel vehicles (though with better overall emissions).

Hydrogen is a way for the fossil fuel industry to continue to sell fuel during this time of climate change, because carbon can be sequestered during the chemical reactions that produce hydrogen from methane.

In contrast, battery electric vehicles provide little future opportunity for fossil fuel companies, because global electricity generation is transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Well said David.
There seem to be the usual company men waving the “Fool Cells Forever” banner ignoring where the H2 comes from, it’s vast inefficiencies compared to kwh placed into batteries, and the prohibitive economics of the stack/tank and H2 production costs.

Yes and despite the shills for the fossil fuel companies posting here, fool cells for at least light vehicles are DOA without massive subsidies.

Vast majority of electricity is produced from natural gas and coal too. But we still promote electric vehicles. Not because they’re carbon neutral today but because they have the potential to be. Same goes for hydrogen.

In some regions where BEVs are being adopted at a high rate, electricity generation has already shifted away from coal, and towards renewables. California (50% of the U.S. BEV market) gets 29% of its electricity from renewables, and only 4% of its electricity from coal. Norway (where 40% of new car sales are BEVs) gets 99% of its electricity from hydropower.

From Prsnep – “Not because they’re (..BEVs).. carbon neutral today but because they have the potential to be. Same goes for hydrogen”

True to an extent, but the efficiencies of BEVs compared to fuel cell vehicles mean only about a third of the pollution. Principle may be the same, amount is very different.

Wow, a 700 bar hydrogen storage tank? That’s over 1000 psi! The extra weight of these vehicles must come from the weight of the storage tank.

Whoops, I made a decimal mistake there. The 700 bar hydrogen tank is over 10,000 psi. Wow! The hydrogen tank on a Toyota Mirai weighs 193 lbs.

Silly, just…silly.

> H2 range in hybrid mode: 478 km (297 miles) NEDC
> H2 tanks capacity: 4.4 kg of hydrogen (700-bar tank)

Howabout packaging the Hydrogen tank and fuel cells into something that resembes a jerry can. If the weight of the full package can be done in around 20kg, hydrogen could actually make sense.

– Market is here: BEV owners driving to woods or just to alleviate range anxiety on road trips
– No need to build countrywide hydrogen charging network, just lease prefilled hydrogen-jerrycans at full-service charging stations
– No need to build hydrogen cars – any plug-in* will work
– No need to carry the weight of hydrogen tank, hydrogen and fuel cell *all*the*time.

For seamless experience, car-makers can make “hydrogen compatible” EVs, where you have a DC inlet and water drainage and a large enough frunk to take the hydogen-jerrycan. Then you can charge while driving.

*key problem: lack of standard DC plug.

Not a bad idea. The big question is will you get sufficiently more kw out of it than you would a battery of the same weight/size?

Tesla M3 battery pack weights 478kg which gives 490km of range. So 20Kg batteries is not very useful for range extension.

Wow! These dead end technologies die hard
It amazes me given the imminent threat these companies face how much money time and resources they expend on a complete and utter dead end.

Fool Cell PHEV= the Worst of both Worlds, limited range and hard to find “FUEL”.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Not the worst of both worlds.
By reducing the need for hydrogen, PHFCV places more emphasis on the fuel cell cost and less emphasis on the infrastructure and fuel. It makes things a lot easier from a market perspective.

Mercedes complains about the cost of building electric cars, says they’ll cost some people on the assembly line their jobs. But then they go, and produce this with a very limited electric range, and pair it with a rare fuel most people don’t have access to. Just one more reason I like Jaguar better, they didn’t BS us on electric cars one minute, and then try to fool us with fool cells the next. Audi, and BMW also seem to be on the same path as Mercedes, showing us electric cars, complaining about them, and all the while still fooling around with fool cells on the side.

I’ll say this for the car: At least the plug in part is usable for me as a second car. The Mirai however is totally dependant on having an H2 Station so unlike that car the Benz doesn’t have to be airlifted to California twice a week to refuel it.

Public hydrogen stations have already opened in the Northeast. You’d only have to airlift the Mirai to Massachusetts or Connecticut to refuel it.