Daimler Now Taking Orders for F-Cell Hydrogen Car

Daimler is now taking orders for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell hydrogen fuel-cell car that will be leased to customers in California. The monthly lease price will be $600 to $800 including fuel. The leases are being limited to drivers in Los Angeles and the San Francisco area, due to limited availability of hydrogen fuel.

Mercedes said the B-Class F-Cell will have a driving range of 240 miles, and there will be six hydrogen fueling stations open to the public in the Los Angeles area this year.

Drive the F-Cell!

Fill out a Mercedes-Benz questionnaire if you’re interested in leasing the B-Class F-Cell hydrogen car.

It’s not a coincidence that Mercedes is introducing a marketing campaign about the full range of alternative vehicles, at the same time that it introduces the F-Cell car. In a Mercedes-sponsored poll by Harris Interactive in July, fewer than three in 10 respondents were knowledgeable about the differences between hybrid-electric, battery-electric and plug-in hybrids. And yet, 39 percent said they were considering an alternative energy vehicle.

Daimler is moving forward with its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and already offers six alternative technology Mercedes-Benz vehicles: two hybrids as well as four Bluetec clean diesel vehicles. All of these alternative vehicles sell in low volume—fewer than 100 per month for the hybrids, and 400 or less for the clean diesel vehicles.

In an interview conducted for PluginCars.com, Sascha Simon, Mercedes-Benz department manager of advanced products planning, explained the advantages of the F-Cell hydrogen-electric vehicle compared to a battery-electric car. “This will be the first electric vehicle that never needs to be plugged in, and doesn’t come with built-in range anxiety,” Simon said. “It’s a really great vehicle. It’s a full electric vehicle without the disadvantages of batteries.”

Simon believes that real-world range of 60 or 70 miles for battery-electric cars will present a problem for suburban and rural drivers. “If you live in the middle of Kansas, or in Colorado or anywhere in the countryside where your next supermarket is 40 or 50 miles away, you have a problem,” Simon said. Meanwhile, conventional hybrids are ideal for “a lot of stop and go, any suburban area where the commute is marked by sitting on the highway in traffic,” and clean diesel is the technology of choice for longer-distance driving and pulling boats. “We don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. Also, all of these technologies build one upon another.”

Simon believes that the end game is electric mobility using hydrogen fuel cell technology. “We believe it’s the only technology that’s able to completely eliminate the need for carbon fuels,” he said.


  • Confused

    “This will be the first electric vehicle that never needs to be plugged in, and doesn’t come with built-in range anxiety,” Simon said.

    Did they forget about the Honda FCX Clarity?

  • Old Man Crowder

    Aw man!! Confused, you beat me to it!! I was just going say the exact same thing — although I wonder if Daimler and Honda are using different hydrogen systems?

    My other concern is in regards to diesel being considered “alternative technology”. I guess in my mind, a “clean diesel” really isn’t a major advancement in reducing fuel consumption and/or emissions (or maybe I’m just ignorant on the topic?).

  • Shines

    6 refueling stations in all of LA and a 240 mile range? Gives me range anxiety. Gonna have to fill up twice a week…
    I may have to fill up daily with a plug in EV, but at least I can do it at home while I’m asleep… (I’m still not convinced about the viability of hydrogen fuel cell technology.)

  • Yegor

    Oh, man! Why they are doing it? Is this a trick?
    I thought we are crystal clear on this! Hydrogen is not much an alternative to oil. Hydrogen technologies are extremely expensive with no signs of going to reasonable level in the near future.
    On the other hand Electric is already here with competitive prices right now.

    Honda FCX Clarity is available right for $600 a month lease. It is the lowest that Mercedes can offer right now. So what? Honda sold 5 FCX Clarity in 2009 and 12 in 2010.

  • Yegor

    Daimler is a malicious CAFE standard violator. It violated CAFE standard 21 times in 25 years, sometimes by 2.22 MPG for every sold vehicle. It continues to violate CAFE standard even when Hybrids are available for 13 years. Daimler always promises that next year it will meat CAFE standard. However it never does. I do not believe Daimler.

  • JamesDavis

    Alan Alda, on a PBS show called ‘American Scientific’, four or five years back, had a six hour series about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. General Motors has a ‘hydrogen fuel cell battery on wheels’ that was presented on that show, but GM did not own the battery at that time, and to produce electricity – all you have to do is pour water into the battery. Two scientists, an elderly man and woman, developed a hydrogen fuel cell container, about the size of a hockey puck, that can hold enough hydrogen to get you over 100 miles. Hydrogen fuel cell batteries are very advanced and you no longer have to use dirty fuel to produce the hydrogen. Norway developed a hydrogen fuel cell station, about the size of an American freezer, that can produce enough electricity to power your home for the rest of time, and all you have to do is just keep putting water into it. One scientist even developed a hydrogen fuel cell battery – article can be found on Scientific American, that can use dirty water to fuel it.

    The three big American auto makers have made hydrogen fuel cell batteries the demon of the fuel cells because they have too much invested into fossil fuel vehicles to want to give them up.

    These hydrogen fuel cell batteries are as safe as water in a sponge and produce zero pollution. When mass produced, they are cheaper than the acid battery you now have in you car. Hydrogen fuel cell batteries are the best way to go with electricity cars and you never have to plug them in to the grid. If I was an auto manufacturer and I wanted to make a billion dollar profit almost over night, hydrogen fuel cell batteries would be the way I would go.

  • Pinballwiz2

    Take a look at what ITM Power are doing with hydrogen vehicle refuellers for home and commercial vehicles … Could be the answer to Daimer & Honda refuelling… They are also running trials with DHL , Scottish & Southern Energy, Scottish Water, the Forestry Commission, London Stansted Airport, Vestas & councils in 2011…. Go to http://www.itm-power.com

  • Pinballwiz2

    Take a look at what ITM Power are doing with hydrogen vehicle refuellers for home and commercial vehicles … Could be the answer to Daimer & Honda refuelling… They are also running trials with DHL , Scottish & Southern Energy, Scottish Water, the Forestry Commission, London Stansted Airport, Vestas & councils in 2011…. Go to http://www.itm-power.com

  • Joe

    I am with James Davis on the Issue. Hopefully Hydrogen will become proven and take the lead. Build more 2010 nuclear plants to fuel them and we can get off foreign oil. I believe OPEC purposely lowered oil when they saw we were serious with Alternative fuel sources, they say their green dollars go as we go alternative. China can have all the black gold and a servant to OPEC now.

  • Shines

    Once again people miss the physics of producing hydrogen from water. Sure ITM power has invented an inexpensive machine that produces hydrogen from water. You still have to plug it in and provide energy – electricity – for the electrolysis process to produce the hydrogen from water. The amount of energy in the hydrogen produced is only equal to the energy in the electricity used to produce it. Same with the freezer sized fuel cell station created in Norway. It uses thermal energy (if you are lucky enough to live near a geo-thermal vent) to convert the water to hydrogen. We still have not overcome the excessive cost of creating the hydrogen refueling infrastructure… My vote is for batteries that can hold enough energy (without having to convert water to hydrogen) to move a car 200 miles on a charge.

  • fuel cell

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  • DC

    So Daimler claims there Fool-cell vehicle elimates range-anxiety? Whay about hydrogen-anxiety? That is, the anxiety that fool cell vehicles are a waste of time energy and money and fail to adress just about every single problem created by ICE vehicles over the last century. Also, what is it that prevents people from realizing that it takes more energy to create compress store or transport h2 than you will ever get out of it in a fool-cell vehicle?

  • Jay

    the nay sayers on this technology don’t get the big picture, Can i remind you guys that in my 46 years of being alive we went from 8 track tapes to downloading music on a mp3. my first computer had cartridge software. things are invented by trial and error. one technology weeds out another. It’s easy to do nothing and have no input. have some vision man.