A Mercedes GLC hydrogen fuel cell model has been confirmed by the brand, with a production version due next year.
The GLC F-Cell will also have a rechargeable battery pack, making it the world’s first plug-in fuel cell hybrid. It has a compact cell stack that was co-developed with Ford and fits in the space that would normally be the engine compartment. Electrical power is sent to a motor that drives the rear wheels. There won’t be a four-wheel- drive version.
The need to achieve Mercedes’ target of a 500km (310-mile) range means the F-Cell has two hydrogen tanks, both made from ultra-strong carbon-fibre weave. One is mounted longitudinally under the centre of the car and the other transversely at the back. Total hydrogen capacity is 4.3kg, stored at 700bar and good for a claimed 280-mile/450km range. The extra 30 miles comes from the 8kWh battery pack sited above the rear tank.
Sales will start next year in territories that already have a reasonable density of hydrogen filling stations, including Japan and California..