As fuel cell technology rapidly moves forward, it finds a path into the hands of performance enthusiasts. On Saturday September 3 at the Milan Raceway in Michigan, U.S., Inergy Automotive Systems drove its leased DaimlerChrysler F-Cell down the quarter-mile stretch with documented times less than 19 seconds, at speeds in excess of 113 km/h. The hydrogen fuel cell vehicle didn’t break any land speed records, infact it didn’t break any records at all, but the point is, the possibility of zero-emissions high-performance has finally been recognised.
DaimlerChrysler (Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Smart etc) has spent more than U.S $1 billion in fuel cell vehicle research and development. No other manufacturer has accumulated more vehicles or data or driven more zero-emission miles — 1.3 million miles (approx. 2.1 million kilometres).
The DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicle fleet is diverse — in addition to several research vehicles it includes more than 30 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses, three of which are in operation in Western Australia in conjunction with the Government of Western Australia. The Buses also run in Europe, the United States, Japan, China and Singapore. As part of the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell vehicles, DaimlerChrysler has more than 100 fuel cell vehicles with customers around the world. No other manufacturer comes close to the efforts and commitment of DaimlerChrysler with fuel cell technology.
It seems that DaimerChrysler has hedged its bets on Fuel Cell to be powering the cars of the future, and personally, I am right behind them. As much as I like Diesel and Hybrid technology, at the end of the day, the grim reality is that we are going to run out of fuel, and we need a viable solution to power our cars without the need for fossil fuel.