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Mercedes F-Cell World Drive arrives home

Fri, 03 Jun 2011

The Mercedes B-Class Fuel Cell cars arrive back in Stuttgart

Since January Mercedes has been driving round the world with a trio of hydrogen fuel cell cars to demonstrate that the future is all about hydrogen fuel cells, and not about hybrids or BEVs.

In the four months since the three Mercedes B-Class Fuel Cell cars left home in Stuttgart at the end of January, they have covered 30,000 km each (that’s around 18.6k miles) and had zero emissions. Which will please the environmentalists no end.

But all this wasn’t just a jolly by Mercedes to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the car, but a serious intent to show that a fuel cell car can do everything a petrol or diesel-fuelled car can do - infrastructure permitting.

The hydrogen-powered Mercedes B-Class drove on everything from city streets to country roads to motorways, and in some countries – notably Australia and China – unmade roads.

Even an accident in Kazakhstan where B-Class 3 get hit up the arse didn’t stop the convoy making progress, with repairs being made to the car’s bodywork in a local repair shop.

Mercedes reckon it will take 1,000 hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany to make hydrogen a convenient alternative to petrol and diesel, and they are lobbying hard for that to happen. Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes boss, said:

With the F-CELL World Drive we have shown, that the time for electric vehicles with fuel cell has come. Now the development of the infrastructure has to pick up speed. For only an adequate number of hydrogen fueling stations enables car drivers to benefit from the advantages of this technology: high range, short refueling times, zero emissions.

And as we keep saying, hydrogen fuel cells are the real future for electric cars. Battery technology will likely never be an adequate replacement for ICE cars, but hydrogen fuel cells – or hydrogen-powered ICE cars – are the only viable future.

And with Mercedes in the hydrogen corner in a big way things may start to hurry up.

By Cars UK