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Mercedes GLC F-Cell nearing production. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes GLC F-Cell nearing production
Hydrogen-powered, plug-in hybrid Mercedes GLC F-Cell on show in Frankfurt.
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What's all this about?

Mercedes-Benz's EQ sub-brand of electric vehicles (EVs) is quickly flowering into a genuine showroom proposition and, alongside pure EVs, the company will sell this hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) version of the GLC under the same EQ banner.

What's the proper name for this FCEV?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell. A number of examples will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week and they're all pre-production models - meaning these things will be on sale a lot sooner than you might think.

How does the GLC F-Cell work?

Well, Mercedes is claiming it is the first vehicle in the world that is both an FCEV and a plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV); things like the Toyota Mirai are FCEVs, but they're not PHEVs as well. Thus, the GLC F-Cell has a 300-mile range courtesy of the 4.4kg of hydrogen it can store on board at 700 bar in two floor-mounted, carbon-fibre-encased tanks. It can also go around 30 miles thanks to a 9.3kWh net lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged in one-and-a-half hours by being plugged in externally. Alternatively, the Mercedes can run on hydrogen and recharge its battery itself. Either energy source goes to an asynchronous electric motor that develops 200hp and 350Nm, enough for the GLC F-Cell to do 100mph flat out.

But isn't the key to this infrastructure?

Yes, it is, but in Mercedes' homeland of Germany, there are already 100 hydrogen filling stations and there are plans to open up plenty more. FCEVs are good because it takes about three minutes to fill the tanks of such vehicles with hydrogen, making them much more like refuelling a conventional petrol or diesel car. Since 2010, Mercedes has sold a B-Class F-Cell in Germany and so the GLC should prove to be a success.

Who reckons that? Mercedes?

Of course. Ola Källenius, member of the board of management of Daimler AG responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development, said: "Our many years of experience with fuel-cell technology pay dividends in the new GLC F-Cell: its long electric range, short refuelling times and everyday practicality of an SUV will make it the perfect vehicle. This is made possible by the compact construction of our fuel-cell system. Another genuine world first is the combination with a large additional lithium-ion battery, which can be conveniently charged using plug-in technology."

And will the F-Cell be similar to a normal GLC?

According to Mercedes, yes it will. The only differences most should notice inside are a minimal step in the boot and a slightly raised rear bench seat. Outside, the GLC F-Cell displays blue highlights and a set of 20-inch 'aerodynamically-optimised' alloy wheels, and the cars shown in Frankfurt are actually pre-production examples of the hydrogen vehicle - which will be sold under Mercedes' EQ electric vehicles brand.



Matt Robinson - 12 Sep 2017








www.mercedes-benz.co.uk    - Mercedes-Benz road tests
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2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell EQ. Image by Mercedes-Benz.







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