Mercedes-Benz has previewed a plug-in hybrid hydrogen fuel-cell GLC for 2017.
Yes, you read that right. Unlike other fuel-cell vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai, Honda FCX Clarity, or the like, Mercedes’ GLC fuel-cell vehicle will utilize a 9 kWh battery pack, making it rather unique.
The merging of a li-ion battery with about 30 miles range, according to the maker, plus a 300-mile-range fuel cell stack as the main power mirrors in concept the Audi A7 H-tron last year which relied on an 8.8-kWh battery.
No gas engine is involved, and one reason for the battery power is Mercedes observes there aren’t enough hydrogen refilling stations. With the GLC, drivers will be able to recharge at public charging stations if a hydrogen refilling station isn’t located close by.
It’s unclear when the GLC-Class-based fuel-cell that was previewed this week by a prototype will debut, but reports suggest it will be the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Mercedes-Benz has previously produced a B-Class F-Cell in 2009, but the company only leased it to fleets and a select few customers while not offering it for sale to the general public.
As for the new GLC, its battery is at the rear, while the fuel-cell stack – developed with Ford in a joint venture –is under the hood. There are two tanks for the storage of 8.8 pounds of hydrogen. One will run down the center of the vehicle, another will be placed below the rear seats.
In order to make the fuel-cell stack fit, it is being shrunk by about 30 percent while using 90-percent less platinum, says the automaker.
No price has been announced. Mercedes-Benz has suggested that despite the present infrastructure dilemma, costs will come down, fuel will grow greener with development, and FCVs already have longer range and faster refueling than battery electric vehicles.