The Mercedes B Class F-Cell – an electric car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell to charge the batteries – is already available for lease in Southern California, albeit at a not exactly everyday affordable $849 a month.
Admittedly that does include all the hydrogen you can use, but it’s still probably three times what a regular B-Class would cost to lease.
But that’s because car makers have jumped on the BEV (battery electric vehicle) bandwagon in an effort to appease silly CO2 targets set by governments rather than pushing forward with technology that has the potential to power vehicles in to the future – the hydrogen fuel cell.
Mercedes, however, are still convinced that hydrogen power is the future and they are not only extending the current B Class F-Cell lease to Northern California in the next few months as the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure improves, but are planning two new commercially available fuel cell cars in the next couple of years.
The first will be an F-Cell version of the new B Class which is expected to arrive in 2014 with a further, larger, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle following on. That is likely to be a hydrogen powered version of the E Class, although Mercedes hasn’t ruled out building an M Class F-Cell instead.
Sascha Simon, product planning manager at MB USA, says the new F-Cell cars will be sold in California, Connecticut and New York and that the new larger F-Cell car will be a current Mercedes model, just powered by hydrogen.
If it weren’t for the silly CO2 targets set by governments hydrogen power would probably be much closer to being commercially viable than it currently is. But hopefully, with Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai all working on hydrogen fuel cell cars, we may eventually get the future of motoring.