DaimlerChrysler has been feeling the heat from BMW who is now rolling out 100 production hydrogen cars to customers worldwide. By 2010, DaimlerChrysler intends to go into limited serial production of its Mercedes F-Cell B-Class fuel cell automobile.
The announcement was made this week at the Frankfurt International Motor Show as Mercedes was showcasing 18 other green cars of the future. The Mercedes F-Cell B-Class delivers 136 hp and has a range of approximately 250 miles.
DaimlerChrysler has not stated whether the Mercedes F-Cell B-Class will be offered for sale or as a lease agreement to individuals and corporate customers. Because of the high current costs of owning such a vehicle, the odds are that DaimlerChrysler will offer the hydrogen fuel cell car as a lease, following in the footsteps of BMW and Honda.
I drove the F-Cell B-Class at about this time last year and noted that it was one of the most popular cars at the auto show because it was a Mercedes. It also had much better acceleration than expected, making it a tight little vehicle to drive.
It remains to be seen what infrastructure support, DaimlerChrysler will give the drivers of the Mercedes F-Cell B-Class or if they will only roll it out in areas where there are already fueling stations in place. No matter what decision is made, it is good to see another player getting in the game of producing hydrogen cars that the public can drive on a regular basis.