The Mercedes GLC F-Cell – a hydrogen fuel cell SUV – will arrive in 2017 and come complete with a plug-in hybrid system to back-up the fuel cell.
We already have hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles on the road (FCEV) which use electricity generated by hydrogen to power an electric motor, including the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai ix35 FECV.
But there’s a new hydrogen-powered car heading to the market in 2017, and it’s not just an hydrogen FCEV, it’s actually a plug-in hybrid FCEV.
The car in question is the Mercedes GLC F-Cell – a hydrogen-powered version of the new Mercedes GLC (the car that was the GLK and the UK didn’t used to get) – which Mercedes say will launch on the market in 2017 – and in the UK in 2018 – and be at a price that makes it saleable.
Paradoxically, electric car take-up has been poor as drivers have range anxiety about the ‘electricity running out’, but Mercedes are offering a plug-in FCEV in case drivers worry about not actually being able to find hydrogen to top up the tank. and can instead use the plug-in bit to manage up to 30 miles without the hydrogen fuel stack.
Apart from offering a plug-in capability, the latest fuel cell stack from Mercedes is a big leap forward, offering 40 per cent more power in a unit that’s 30 per cent smaller than Mercedes last unit in the B-Class F-Cell, and will actually fit under the bonnet of a regular car where the engine would have gone in an ICE car.
It’s a bit of an odd idea to use plug-in electricity to supplement electricity generated on-board, but if it makes buyers more likely to give an FCEV a go then it’s perhaps a sensible move.
Mercedes hasn’t revealed performance details for the GLC F-Cell, but we’re assuming it will ‘adequate’, and nor have they revealed prices – but we can’t see it being the right side of £50k.