Mercedes-Benz has put the GLC F-Cell, a plug-in fuel-cell hybrid vehicle, into production, delivering the first examples to a number of German hydrogen agencies.
Unlike regular plug-in hybrid vehicles, there's no internal-combustion engine backing the 13.5kWh battery pack and 50km all-electric range. Instead, the F-Cell relies on a hydrogen fuel-cell good for around 430km.
Hydrogen is stored in two carbon-fibre wrapped tanks under the floor, holding a combined 4.4kg. When refilled using a 700-bar fuelling station, they can be replenished in around three minutes.
It is down on power compared to the average plug-in hybrid vehicle, with an output of 'just' 155kW, while the top speed is electronically-limited to 160km/h.
Compared to cars like the Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity and Hyundai Nexo, the F-Cell looks remarkably mainstream. It's got blue highlights in the grille, side sills, wheels and bumper, and there are a few badges scattered around the exterior, but otherwise it's standard GLC business.
At the moment, the F-Cell is only being offered in Germany. It's been handed over to national and regional ministries, National Organisation Hydrogen and H2 Mobility, along with the Deutsche Bahn.
Further deliveries will be made to the likes of Shell later this year, while private customers will be able to lease the car from German spring next year – our autumn.
At the moment, there are 50 hydrogen stations in Germany. That figure is expected to expand to 100 by the end of next year, with a stretch goal of hitting 400 at some point in the mid-term.