Mercedes Set To Unveil Plug-In Fuel Cell-Powered GLC Crossover

Mercedes has added yet another reveal to its big Frankfurt Motor Show schedule.

Along with a new hypercar and an electric hatchback concept, the German automaker will debut the GLC F-Cell at its home show this year. The compact luxury crossover will be a plug-in electric car that’s also powered by hydrogen fuel cells and is part of Mercedes’ larger strategy to offer more electrified cars.

The GLC F-Cell will be unique because it will be the first production plug-in fuel cell vehicle. The car’s large lithium ion battery can be charged both onboard via hydrogen fuel cells or plugged in and charged externally like a typical electric car. This setup makes sense because hydrogen refuelling systems aren’t readily available yet. Mercedes says combined range for this GLC F-Cell will be around 311 miles (500 km) on the European test cycle, and it should be able to go 31 miles (50 km) on pure battery power alone.

Mercedes touts hydrogen as having “a long operating range and short refuelling stops as well as a broad spectrum of possible uses.” Water is the only emission from fuel cell-powered cars.

There’s no official word yet on whether this the GLC F-Cell will be available in North America, although even if it does make it, it doesn’t seem likely to be offered in U.S. states except California. Only 39 hydrogen refuelling stations are available in the U.S. right now and all but four of them are in California. More information should be available at its reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Sept. 12.


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