In a surprise announcement, Chairman of Daimler AG Dieter Zetsche said that Mercedes will introduce a production hydrogen fuel cell car into showrooms as early as 2014. On January 10, 2011 I had talked about how the Mercedes B-Class F-Cell (several of them) had started a world tour to prove the durability and production-readiness of its FCV.
In November 2010, I had talked about how a limited number of Mercedes B-Class F-Cell vehicles were going into serial production and would then be leased in Germany and the United States. Because of the success of the world tour which lacked any significant mechanical problems and because of the success of the leased vehicles which once again have lacked significant problems, Chairman Zetsche has decided to push up the rollout date one year from the other major car companies (except Hyundai) who say they will roll out their hydrogen production cars in 2015.
On June 2, 2011 I had talked about how Daimler and Linde were putting up 20 hydrogen fueling stations in Germany in order to get the infrastructure ready for the rollout of hydrogen cars. According to Forbes, “Zetsche says the technology is already developed enough to support mass production of its F-Cell; current plans are to produce it in volume by 2014 at a price comparable to that of a diesel-powered car. He declined to comment on where such vehicles might be sold, though he said they’ll go wherever the infrastructure is strongest–likely Europe and China, possibly the U.S. or even Japan, despite its post-tsunami difficulties.”
So, the most likely scenario is that Daimler will rollout some sort of Mercedes FCV (fuel cell vehicle) first in Germany where the hydrogen infrastructure is being more rapidly built than any other country. If Daimler decides to rollout its Mercedes FCV (and it will probably be a later generation of the B-Class F-Cell or a totally new vehicle altogether) in the U. S. then this will most likely happen around the Los Angeles area where the B-Class F-Cell is currently being leased.
Kudos to Daimler for putting on the pressure by basically saying, “The cars are ready. Now where is the infrastructure?”