Mercedes is working hard to transform car travel by making hydrogen fuel cells a market reality
While most people now know that fuel cell cars do in fact work and that the likelihood of them exploding like a bomb is, well, very unlikely, the two massive problems of high cost and inadequate infrastructure persist.
One company at the forefront of overcoming these problems is Mercedes.
The German car maker introduced its first fuel cell vehicle in 1994 and has since invested over €1.5 billion in developing the technology.
Mercedes is currently trialing a number of its B-Class cars in parts of California with hydrogen fuel cells.
Named F-Cell, the cars have a range of 190 miles and convert compressed hydrogen into electricity, emitting nothing but water vapour.
And unlike plug-in electric vehicles drivers can refuel conventionally.
One of the biggest problems, however, is giving drivers easy and affordable access to these special hydrogen refuelling stations.
That’s why Mercedes’ parent company – Daimler – is working with political and industry partners to build a hydrogen infrastructure, both in the US and Europe.
In Germany, for example, Mercedes is set to open 20 hydrogen refuelling stations powered by renewable energy by 2014.
Taking a lead in developing a comprehensive infrastructure demonstrates how the company is solving one of the classic chicken-egg conundrums of low carbon automotive transport.
Of course there’s a long way still to go and the current US lease price of $599/month will certainly have to come down for the technology to become widespread.
Still, it’s exciting that this ‘future technology’ is finally nearing market reality.
You can view Mercedes unique ameeProfile here, including its ‘Excellent’ Financial Score of 5 and its strong Environmental Score of 74.