Mercedes-Benz has confirmed plans of its first series production plug-in fuel cell model, the GLC F-Cell, to be revealed at next week’s Frankfurt motor show. The new dual hydrogen and electric propelled model is planned to go on sale in selected markets in 2018.
The zero-emission GLC F-Cell swaps the standard GLC’s combustion engine for a fuel cell stack developed in a co-operation between Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and Ford in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) joint venture based in Vancouver, Canada.
Electrical energy used to power the GLC F-Cell’s electric motor is generated on board within the fuel cell stack in a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is stored in two carbon-fibre-encased tanks mounted within the GLC F-Cell’s floor.
Details to the output of the fuel cell stack remains under wraps a week before the GLC F-Cell’s planned public debut, though Mercedes-Benz confirms it will be combined with a 9kWh lithium-ion battery to provide an overall range of up to 500km, some 50km of which is claimed to be achievable on the electricity from its battery alone.
The new model is claimed to have undergone over 500 individual tests, including aerodynamic refinement and crash testing in the German car maker’s new wind tunnel and crash testing facility in Sindelfingen, Germany since 2015.
Data collected during its development programme reveals the fleet of GLC F-Cell prototypes have used about 200 tonnes hydrogen and emitted some 1,800 tonnes of water vapour.