First, I want to thank Greg Blencoe of Hydrogen Discoveries for pointing out a bit of good news I had previously overlooked. Earlier this year, Daimler’s CEO had made a comment in German automotive magazine “Auto Motor and Sport” that his company would be putting limited production fuel cell cars on the road by summer of 2009.
Here is the a most telling quote according to Hy-ramp, “In an interview with the German car magazine ‘Auto Motor und Sport’ on january 28, 2009 Daimler’s CEO, Dieter Zetsche announced the start of small series production of fuel cell cars from the middle of 2009. Daimler is looking to reach annual production numbers of 100.000 vehicles in four to five years at a cost comparable, to Bluetec hybride cars, that onl recently seemd far fetched according to Mr. Zetsche.”
According to the translated page of Auto Motor and Sport referred to on Greg’s blog, it looks as if Daimler is forcing the issue of building out the European Hydrogen Highway system of which Germany holds the most H2 fueling stations to date. Most likely, Daimler will be rolling out its Mercedes B-Class F-Cell vehicle. Right now there are over 60 A-class F-cells in the U. S., Japan, Germany and Singapore.
In total, Daimler has over 100 fuel cell vehicles in operation, making it the largest hydrogen car fleet in the world. In July 2008, CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche made the announcement that he would be putting production fuel cell vehicles on the road as early as 2010, so the early production this year comes as a surprise.
Zetsche said he intends to rollout the fuel cell vehicles whether or not customers are able to fill up with hydrogen at convenient locations, showing his company’s commitment to bringing forth a new age of zero emissions vehicles. It is this kind of pioneering spirit that will be necessary to overcome the chicken-or-the-egg, paralysis by analysis syndrome and force the issue of the necessity of zero emission vehicles worldwide.