Mercedes-Benz Hopes To Boost Fuel Cell Appeal With A Hydrogen-Electric Hybrid http://ift.tt/2x8hYs8


Mercedes-Benz Hopes To Boost Fuel Cell Appeal With A Hydrogen-Electric Hybrid

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Mercedes-Benz Hopes To Boost Fuel Cell Appeal With A Hydrogen-Electric Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz Hopes To Boost Fuel Cell Appeal With A Hydrogen-Electric Hybrid

Preproduction models are testing a new and improved clean emissions combo

Hydrogen fuel cells have been in development and limited production for a couple of decades now. As a clean emission alternative to battery electric vehicles, their appeal has been fast refilling times and long range driving capabilities. But just as EV’s refueling infrastructure has taken a long time to get established, hydrogen fuel cells have struggled to get off the ground. One issue in the past has been that hydrogen is typically dispensed at either 350 or 700 bar pressure. A short refueling time demands 700 bars, which are mostly found at industrial facilities. Yet, there are initiatives to expand consumer hydrogen refilling happening, with countries like Japan making a more serious bet on it.

Mercedes-Benz has debuted a version of its compact SUV called the GLC F-CELL that combines a hydrogen fuel cell with a battery electric drive system. A world’s first for this type of application, it aims to balance the accessibility of electricity with the yet to be fully developed hydrogen refueling network. It would also allow recharging at home or work, unlike a pure fuel cell vehicle, which could only be refueled at a station. The potential benefit of this system is using electricity for city and short trip driving and switching to hydrogen for long trips to avoid lengthy recharging times.

There are some practical considerations that are a bit of an unknown: Hydrogen isn’t cheap, and the expansion of infrastructure is costly and would likely be passed onto the fuel price. A driver would have to be fairly sure that they were going to be doing long distance trips and using the hydrogen system, otherwise it would be money spent on unused features. Someone with a long commute by car is probably the right customer for this idea.

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via PSFK http://www.psfk.com/