High up on Mercedes’ agenda is an all-new hydrogen car. The company’s first large scale production fuel cell model will be launched in 2017, as a variant of the current GLC SUV.
According to Autocar, the car would have a range of 250 to 300 miles and be the first Mercedes to use a set of modular components, expected to be shared across the group by future hybrid and electric models.
The fuel-cell stack is said to be part of the next generation systems, mounted in the same place as before, though – in the engine bay area, that is, void of course of its regular combustion unit.
“The engineering parameters are finalised. The refuelling time for the hydrogen tanks shouldn’t exceed three minutes,” Mercedes’ chief of research and development explains. “The technology has matured greatly in recent years, with improved packaging and efficiency, but it remains in its infancy and is still quite expensive by conventional driveline standards,” Mercedes head of R&D, Thomas Weber, explains.
The list of possible rivals include the much-hyped Toyota Mirai and the second-generation Honda FCV Clarity. Both the Mirai and the FCV are essentially large sedans penned in fastback configurations, though, as opossed to the GLC which is a mid-size SUV. BMW is also set to join the hydrogen battle with its own fuel cell model already announced for 2020.
Costing an estimate £50,000, the hydrogen fuel-cell powered Mercedes GLC is set to be available in two purchase schemes. One revolves around the already known monthly lease, familiar to hydrogen vehicles, while the other offers Mercedes clients the option to buy and subsequently own the model right from the outset.