Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL fuel cell vehicle cracks 300,000 kilometer mark

Top: The fuel cell system of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL. Bottom: Development status of a future stack as of early 2013. The significantly more compact dimensions will mean that the future fuel cell system can be accommodated in the engine compartment of a conventional vehicle.

A B-Class F-CELL fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)  from Mercedes-Benz’ current FCEV fleet has achieved a continuous running record of more than 300,000 kilometers (186,411 miles) under normal everyday conditions. The still running test shows that fuel cell cars are reliable even under extreme stress and over several years, Daimler said.

Produced under series production conditions, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL has been in day-to-day use with customers in the European and US markets since 2010.

The total mileage of the Daimler fuel cell fleet, which now numbers more than 300 vehicles, including numerous research vehicles, has passed the 9-million-kilometer mark (5.6 million miles). Based on the current and pending results, the Mercedes engineers expect to identify further potential for optimization, which will flow directly into the development of the next generation of fuel cell electric vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz began limited production of the B-Class F-Cell in 2009. The B-Class-based vehicle had light modification to support the integration of the fuel cell system, the hydrogen tank system and the electric drive.

Based on an optimized, more compact fuel cell system presented by Mercedes-Benz in its F 600 HYGENIUS research vehicle in 2005, the 80 kW stack module in the B-Class F-CELL is around 40% smaller, but develops 30% more power output and cuts fuel consumption by 16% compared to the A-Class fuel cell stack.

In 2013, Daimler, Ford and Nissan signed a three-way agreement for the joint development of a common fuel cell system to speed up availability of zero-emission technology and significantly reduce investment costs. Daimler is planning for sereis production of F-Cell vehicles from 2017 onwards.

Pressing ahead, Daimler is thus working on market preparation, and is involved in several initiatives, such as H2 Mobility, for the build-up of a hydrogen infrastructure.

We have clearly demonstrated that the fuel cell electric drive is ready for the road. The last hurdles we will overcome in intensive cross-industry and cross-border teamwork.

In recognition of the 300,000 km milestone, Daimler AG was honored with the “f-cell Award 2014” given by Ministry of Environment, Climate, Protection and Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg and the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (WRS). “The test is a step in the direction of series-ready application of the fuel cell drive train”, said the jury.

Donated by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Innovation Award honors application-oriented developments around the topic of fuel cells.