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Daimler Starts Production on 200 Mercedes B-Class F-Cell Vehicles

Daimler B-Class F-CellIn August 2009 I had talked about how Daimler had stated that they would be starting serial production of their Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell hydrogen fuel cell vehicles this year. Now, promises of building fuel cell cars have been a dime a dozen over the years but Daimler has made good on its promise by starting production on the first 200 FCVs on December 14, 2009.

The Mercedes B-Class F-Cell will be the first fuel cell vehicle to go into serial production. Sure, General Motors is in the process of building 200 FCV test cars for their Project Driveway program. And, sure again, Honda is in the process of building 200 Clarity vehicles for lease at $600 per month for 3 years with an uncertain future after that.

But, Daimler has decided to go full steam ahead with their hydrogen car, beating the 2015 timeframe that many other automakers have given for the serial production of their FCVs. In September 2009, I had talked about how Daimler and seven other large companies had signed on to the H2 Mobility Plan for Germany in erecting hydrogen fueling stations for the upcoming cars that will be rolling out.

The Mercedes B-Class F-Cells will likely be rolling out in Germany first, with a few going to California as well, which already has some semblance of a Hydrogen Highway fueling system in place. The Daimler B-Class F-Cell uses a next generation fuel cell, a 10,000 psi compressed hydrogen tank and has a range of around 250 miles.

There has been no word yet on the price of the Daimler FCV when it rolls off the production line in 2010. If Daimler wants the B-Class F-Cell to be a success, which they surely do, they will need to make it affordable and serviceable locally.

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3 comments

  1. I heard at some point Daimler saying that they are going to target $30k,
    of course it may be too early with low production volume for Daimler
    to achieve that. With fuel cell vehicles starting to come out, it seems
    like a good time to talk about the infrastructure to refuel them. The high
    pressure gas storage method is safe and effective, but the trade off is
    that the stations to fill these tanks are extremely expensive. Unfortunately
    in the U.S., D.C, New York, and California are about the only states you
    can refuel a hydrogen car in at a station. There is home refueling, but
    the cost of the equipment is prohibitively expensive.

    It wouldn’t cost much compared to the stimulus bills to build hydrogen refueling
    stations, but I don’t see the U.S. government taking any action. What can someone in a state without hydrogen refueling stations where the B Class
    Mercedes fuel cell car won’t be sold do? Supposedly in 2015 commercialization
    efforts will be underway for fuel cell vehicles, but will they be available in Oregon and other states that have yet to construct even one hydrogen refueling station?

  2. admin

    My guess is that the Daimler cars will roll out in Germany first where there is an effort to build the supporting hydrogen stations. After that I suspect a low volume of h-cars will roll out in the U. S. in the Los Angeles and New York areas. From now to 2015 is a long time so we’ll have to see two things including how the technology progresses and if there is a will by government or industry to put more hydrogen stations in strategic places around the country.

  3. Great discussion is going on this blog about “Daimler Starts Production on 200 Mercedes B-Class F-Cell Vehicles” i’d like to join with you guys and gain knowledge from it….. Thanks

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