Germany is once again finding a way to take the lead when it comes to developing the European Union Hydrogen Highway and doing it with style. At the Stuttgart Airport in Germany, a Mercedes B-Class F-Cell hydrogen fuel cell car is leading airplanes down the taxi ways preparing them for take-offs and bringing them in from landings.
These “follow me” vehicles can be filled up with hydrogen fuel at the airport H2 filling station (open since 2009) in as little as 3 minutes. Now what can be classier than having a Mercedes lead the way when it comes to the build out of hydrogen cars and infrastructure in Germany?
In June 2011, three Mercedes fuel cell vehicles circumnavigated the world proving that they have the power, endurance and mechanical soundness to pull off such an activity. Mercedes has already announced that they are bringing their fuel cell vehicles to showrooms in 2014 which is a year before seven other of the major automakers (except Hyundai – 2014 for them, too) have stated they will be ready for prime time with their FCVs.
Daimler (parent company to Mercedes) and industrial gas company Linde have already stated that they are joining forces to put up 20 hydrogen fueling stations in Germany in the near future. The Mercedes follow me car is just a small piece to the larger puzzle. It gets fuel cell cars out before the public so that they are not seen as such as oddity when they do rollout in the next few years.
Then again Germany is saying “follow me” to the rest of the world as the U. S., Japan and all other countries are behind in the race for a commercial rollout of hydrogen cars and fueling stations anywhere on this green Earth.