Daimler is reportedly preparing a hydrogen fuel cell version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV, with a debut planned for 2017.
Thomas Weber, the head of research and development at Daimler, told Autocar that company has set the engineering parameters for the upcoming hydrogen fuel cell electric hybrid car.
Likely to be known as the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell, the company is hoping to have a vehicle that’s capable of a combined range of 600 kilometres on a full tank of hydrogen and a maxed out battery. Refuelling time for the hydrogen tank is estimated to take around three minutes.
The drivetrain for the GLC F-Cell will likely be an evolution of the one used in the earlier B-Class F-Cell development range. According to Weber, the cost of the hydrogen fuel cell means that it’s only possible offer the technology in more expensive vehicles.
As with its competitors, the GLC F-Cell will feature a fuel cell that generates electricity by combining hydrogen stored in pressurised tank with oxygen drawn from the atmosphere. Under hard acceleration or at higher speeds, the fuel cell powers an electric motor that drives the wheels.
When coasting or at low speeds, the F-Cell will operate like a Prius, drawing on energy stored in its battery pack.
Once on the market, the new GLC F-Cell will battle it out with the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity. BMW is planning on launching its own fuel cell vehicle in 2020, using second-generation fuel cell technology that it’s currently co-developing with Toyota.
According to the British magazine, the GLC F-Cell will only be offered in select markets as either an outright purchase or on a monthly lease.
Note: Mercedes-Benz GLC with an internal combustion engine pictured.