The Mercedes GLC F-Cell – a hydrogen-powered Mercedes GLC with plug-in charging – is now available to lease in Germany, but not in the UK.
Hydrogen power for cars – and for anything, really – has plenty of naysayers, but despite arguments about its overall efficiency, lack of infrastructure and cost, we have to take seriously a technology which utilises the most abundant element in the universe to create power.
The Mercedes GLC F-Cell was actually revealed back in 2016, but now it’s available to lease in Germany although, despite Mercedes saying back in 2016 that it would be available in the UK, it’s not. Well, certainly not for now.
The GLC F-Cell replace the ICE of the GLC – in the same space – with a hydrogen fuel stack to generate electricity from the hydrogen storage tanks in the floor, delivering a range of around 300 miles. But, in a sense, the F-Cell is also a ‘hybrid’.
It’s not a hybrid in the sense that there are two different sources of power, but it does have a 13.5kWh battery – similar in size to that you’d find in a normal plug-in hybrid – to allow charging from the mains and give a bit of extra range.
It’s a logical adaptation of the technology to give drivers some assurance that they can still get around even when struggling to find somewhere to top up with hydrogen, along with the plus that a full tank of hydrogen will only take three minutes to churn in to the F-Cell.
Driving is remarkably similar to the ICE GLC – as are the looks, inside and out – but there are different modes to deliver different result.
Hybrid mode uses both the battery and fuel cell, F-Cell uses just the fuel cell, Battery uses just the battery charge and Charge uses the fuel cell to recharge the battery. Simples. Range from the hydrogen is around 300 miles, there’s around 30 miles of battery range too, and power available is 208bhp.
For now, the Mercedes GLC F-Cell is only available in Germany, with Mercedes offering a full service lease package for £700 a month (which sounds alright to us), although it looks like it will also be offered in Japan, a country pushing hard down the hydrogen route.