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  • The drive system of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL (X 253). The next generation fuel cell vehicles runs on both hydrogen and electricity.
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    F-CELL: Behind the scenes of fuel cell mobility.

Expanding fuel range in a climate-friendly manner.

The potential of fuel cell technology, and of hydrogen for energy storage, is beyond question. Hydrogen plays a major role in the discussion of ways in which to reach worldwide climatic targets. It is one of the ways in which the range of fuels in the transport sector can be extended in a climate-friendly manner: because it is particularly with the help of hydrogen generated from renewable energy that harmful CO2 emissions can be significantly reduced. Operation of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle causes neither local pollutant nor CO2 emissions.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL (X 253), which combines fuel cell and battery electric drive as a plug-in hybrid, refuels with hydrogen.

GLC F-CELL: Wasserstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 0,34 kg/100 km; CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert: 0 g/km; Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 13,7 kWh/100 km.4

smart EQ fortwo (C 453) edition nightsky

smart EQ fortwo: Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus: 20,1–12,9 kWh/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 0 g/km.1

Further milestone by Daimler AG.

With the constantly growing proportion of renewable energy, hydrogen will play an increasingly important part in the overall energy system and therefore become more and more attractive for the mobility sector. Alongside the current focus on battery technology and the rollout of the model initiative under the EQ brand, Daimler AG is continuing with its activities in the field of fuel cell technology. Following the launch of what is now already the fourth generation of the battery-electric smart, the pre-series model of the GLC F-CELL is a further milestone by Daimler AG on the road to emission-free driving, and underlines the company's commitment in this field of technology.

A futureproof alternative.

“Our many years of experience with fuel-cell technology pays dividends in the new GLC F-CELL: its long electric range, short refuelling times and the everyday practicality of an SUV will make it the perfect companion,” says Ola Källenius, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management and responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars development. “This is made possible by the compact construction of our fuel cell system. Another genuine world-first is the combination with a large, additional lithium-ion battery which can be conveniently charged using plug-in technology.”

“Fuel cell technology is an integral part of our drive system strategy”, says Professor Christian Mohrdieck, Head of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH and thus responsible for fuel cell drive system development at Daimler AG. “Zero local CO2 emissions, long ranges and short refuelling times, plus a wide range of applications from cars to buses, other large commercial vehicles and not least also for stationary applications make the technology a futureproof alternative.”

Mercedes-Benz Innovation: Assembly line for the drive unit of the GLC F-CELL in Kirchheim-Nabern.

Long-standing know-how.

Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH is founded on deep and long-standing know-how in fuel cell technology. All activities concerned with developing fuel cell systems have been focused at the Nabern site near Kirchheim-Teck since 1997. Since 2009 the company has been a fully owned subsidiary of Daimler AG and a worldwide leader in the development of fuel cell and hydrogen systems for vehicle applications. Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH is responsible for system concepts and development, component and software development as well as testing and validation. Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH also develops all components for 700-bar hydrogen storage.

All-electric and suitable for everyday use.

The GLC F-CELL is unique worldwide as it features both fuel cells and a battery drive which can be charged externally using plug-in technology. The SUV is an all-electric vehicle suitable for everyday use which emits no CO2 emissions whatsoever during operation. The interplay between battery and fuel cell, a long range and short refuelling times make the GLC F‑CELL a vehicle which boasts high everyday practicality. Two carbon-fibre-encased tanks in the vehicle floor hold 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardised 700-bar tank technology, the hydrogen supply can be replenished within just three minutes – as quickly as is customary when refuelling a combustion-engined car. At the same time, an output of 155 kW helps to ensure high driving dynamics.

Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL (X 253): World’s first electric vehicle with fuel cell and battery drive.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro with full-electric drive system, exterior, 2 x electric hub motor, 2 x 125 kW, 2 x 485 Nm, summer testing 2017, Spain

All set for the future.

There is already a new project on the agenda following development completion of the GLC F-CELL: in the coming years fuel cell technology is also set to electrify the Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus. In the past several dozen Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid city buses have already demonstrated their strengths in public service. In order to use the technology in other automotive segments and large volumes in future, Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH is already in the midst of the task of further developing the fuel cell system to ensure that it can be flexibly incorporated into the Group-wide electric modular system.

Safety: No compromises.

The safety experts at Mercedes-Benz were able to build on almost 30 years of company experience with fuel cell vehicles. The special attention of the engineers in the development of the F-CELL variant of the GLC launched in 2015 was directed to the integration of the safety-relevant components such as the hydrogen gas tanks, the gas seals and valves, and the high-voltage components. The hydrogen tanks are installed in the crash-protected area between the vehicle axles and are protected additionally by a subframe wrapped around the tanks. For the event of a crash, additional extensive measures were implemented such as e.g. a multi-stage valve system as well as special protective circuits for the high-voltage system.

Mercedes-Benz Innovation: Development and testing of the GLC F-CELL (X 253) is based on intensive functional and endurance tests of individual components such as the hydrogen gas tank.

GLC F-CELL: Production in Bremen.

The practical and family-friendly SUV will be produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. Our partner EDAG supports the plant with respect to integration of the drive system, and is located in the immediate vicinity of the plant. Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH is based in Kirchheim-Nabern in the Stuttgart metropolitan area. This wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG developed the complete fuel cell unit and hydrogen storage system for the GLC F-CELL. This is also where the first prototype vehicles were built, the pre-series models then being produced at the Mercedes-Benz Tech Centre in Sindelfingen.

The Daimler home plant in Untertürkheim is responsible for production of the complete fuel cell system. The centrepiece of the fuel cell system, the fuel cell stack consisting of around 400 fuel cells, is created at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC), which operates the world’s first plant dedicated entirely to the production and assembly of fuel cell stacks in British Columbia. The hydrogen tank system is produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim. The lithium-ion battery comes from the wholly-owned Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz/Saxony, Germany.

Mercedes-Benz Innovation: The GLC F-CELL (X 253) can be charged by cable, for example.

The infrastructure is essential.

A full-coverage infrastructure is an essential requirement for the success of electric mobility in Germany. Both the expansion of electric charging stations as well as hydrogen refuelling stations is currently being pushed ahead. Whether at home, at work, on the road or when shopping: currently there are already various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Also when it comes to the hydrogen infrastructure, progress is constantly being made. Together with its partners in the H2 Mobility joint venture, Daimler has drawn up a plan of action. By the end of 2019, the hydrogen refuelling station network is already expected to grow from its current level of 50 to some 100 stations. The long-term objective of the partners is a network of up to 400 hydrogen refuelling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being promoted in Europe, the USA and Japan.

Pioneering work since the 1980s.

Daimler researchers have been working on fuel cell technology since the 1980s. In 1994, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first fuel cell vehicle to the global public: the NECAR 1. Many other vehicles followed: to date, fuel cell vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, including the B-Class F-CELL, have together covered over eighteen million kilometres, thereby demonstrating the maturity of the powertrain concept.

Mercedes-Benz Innovation: The evolution of fuel cell technology – the NECAR 1 (1994) and the B-Class F-CELL (2009).
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Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 21.01.2019.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

2 Die angegebenen Werte sind die „gemessenen NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 2 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153, die im Einklang mit Anhang XII der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 692/2008 ermittelt wurden. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Aufgrund gesetzlicher Änderungen der maßgeblichen Prüfverfahren können in der für die Fahrzeugzulassung und ggf. Kfz-Steuer maßgeblichen Übereinstimmungsbescheinigung des Fahrzeugs höhere Werte eingetragen sein. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch und die CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.