A plug-in electric vehicle can be used to power a house during a winter storm, but if you're more worried about the heat of, say, Death Valley, then maybe you'll want a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell along. That's the message of a new video from Daimler and starring Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) and Joshua Jackson (Fringe) that promotes the company's hydrogen-powered car. The gist? You can drink the tailpipe emissions.

The two Hollywood stars drove in Death Vally without any water in their F-Cell but had a special tank hooked up to the tailpipe to collect the H2O drips as they drove in 100+ degree temperatures. There's a reason these two actors were chosen, since they've been driving an F-Cell in their daily lives for two years, according to the Diamler press release. The text is, shall we say, a bit hyperbolic - "Their lives rely on the emissions of the B-Class F-CELL" it says, totally ignoring the film crew that is obviously along for the ride and more than likely had a few bottles with them. Also, when the California Fuel Cell Partnership promoted the same idea a few years ago, it clarified that, "A fuel cell doesn't produce enough water to fill your glass. ... If fact, fuel cells produce about the same amount of water as gasoline vehicle – about 1/3 cup for a full day of driving."

Thus, this whole thing is a Hollywood stunt, but it's a visually effective one. See for yourself in the mini-movie below.

UPDATE: Daimler has told AutoblogGreen that there was no "extra Hollywood magic" needed for the water collected in the video. Instead, Madeleine Herdlitschka, who works at global communications for Mercedes-Benz Cars, said, "Considering the technical characteristics, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL emits about 9 kg of water vapor per kg of hydrogen while driving. The vehicle has a hydrogen capacity of about 3.7 kg, what is sufficient for a max. of about 400 km of range. A tailor-made construction, designed by the production company Markenfilm Crossing in cooperation with our fuel cell experts, made it possible to collect the water in a tank - previously cooling the vapor with a specially designed pipe system."

Show full PR text
Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson test the fuel cell technology: Into the desert – B-Class F-CELL serves as water supply

Los Angeles/Stuttgart, Jan 31, 2014

For more than two years the Hollywood stars Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson have been enthusiastic drivers of the B-Class F-CELL, whose only emission is pure water. But they are not the only ones: The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL is becoming a popular and treasured endurance runner. In the USA alone, an F-CELL fleet made up of some 70 vehicles has covered more than 1.6 million kilometres - saving around 113,500 litres of fuel and almost 270 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the process. A total of around 200 vehicles have been with customers in the USA and Europe since 2010 and one of these vehicles already has 315,000 kilometres on the clock. Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson are now showing in a film just how much potential the fuel cell drive system offers – on a trip in California's Death Valley, one of the driest places in the world. The film can be viewed at http://mb4.me/drive4water.

"We've become absolute fans of the fuel cell. The car usage is so easy. On a day-to-day basis our normal mobility isn't restricted at all - and we had no water problems in Death Valley either", reported Diane Kruger. "It takes three minutes to fill up, drives about 400 kilometres and gives off zero emissions - simply perfect", added Joshua Jackson. In the film "Defying Death Valley" the two of them are driving through the 50 degree Celsius heat of Death Valley – without any drinking water stock. Their lives rely on the emissions of the B-Class F-CELL. The Hollywood stars are using the water, resulting out of the operation of the F-CELL, for drinking and cooking.

The fuel cell as tomorrow's drive system, ready for series production

The B-Class F-CELL is the first fuel cell electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to be built under series-production conditions. The electricity required for driving is generated on board the car in a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. With a range of some 400 kilometres and short refuelling times of less than three minutes, the B-Class F-CELL combines emission-free mobility with absolute feasibility for use on long journeys and impressive performance.

Fuel cell technology is an integral component of Daimler's long-term drive system strategy, with emission-free mobility as the culmination of these efforts. "Our various projects in Germany, the USA and Norway and, not least, the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive, have shown that the time is right for fuel cell-powered electric vehicles and demonstrated the tremendous potential that exists for hydrogen as a source of energy. We are therefore all the more delighted that such well-known film stars have adopted a pioneering role in relation to this technology and call attention on the advantages of electric mobility", commented Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes‑Benz Cars Development. During the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive of 2011, three B-Class F-CELL vehicles took 125 days to drive 30,000 kilometres through 14 countries on four continents, in a convincing demonstration of the everyday viability of this technology. Joshua Jackson was one of those who took part in the first circumnavigation of the globe with fuel cell cars, driving a section of the route in the USA.

As well as almost 200 B-Class F-CELL, Daimler AG has brought 60 A-Class F‑CELL, three Sprinter vans and almost 60 buses with fleet tests into the market since 2001. Until now the more than 300 fuel cell vehicles have driven around nine million kilometres altogether, providing proof indeed of the unrestricted everyday viability and durability of fuel cell technology. In early 2013, in a bid to speed up the widespread market availability of this emission-free technology and to reduce investment costs, Daimler, Ford and Nissan reached a cooperation agreement covering the joint development of a fuel cell system. The aim is to introduce a competitive fuel cell powered electric vehicle to market in 2017. It is envisaged that significant further progress will have been made by then, in particular towards creating a sustainable infrastructure – not least as a result of Daimler's high level of involvement in various demonstration projects and within the framework of the H2 Mobility Initiative. This initiative has recently agreed to expand the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany's public hydrogen infrastructure to about 400 H2 filling stations by the year 2023. This means that an H2 supply suitable for everyday use shall be created not only for densely populated areas and main traffic areas, but also for rural areas.


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  • 93 Comments
      RSS007
      • 10 Months Ago
      Things that matter in this commercial, without the need for conjecture: 1) Hydrogen fuel cell technology is moving forward 2) What ever the limitations Hydrogen possess to be unsafe, it is being used in many parts of the world already, and is clearly being refined and honed to be less dangerous and more of an alternative to oil. 3) Yes you do get H2O out of the tail pipe, irrespective of the quantity and quality, its without harmful gases 4) Both those actors are pretty good at their job, and coincidentally have been together for a long time. 5) Joshua might be great looking ( The Mighty Ducks, Dawson's Creek, etc) , but Diane Kruger is very hot! ( Troy, National Treasure, etc etc). If you don't know her, you're probably a closeted homo-sexual. Lol. Jks. But seriously, she is beautiful! Lol
      pqfoursix
      • 10 Months Ago
      Breaking news! Breaking news! California researches have recently found that drinking fuel cell vapors causes cancer!... Now back to our unbiased coverage of the coca cola story; " we hate America".
      Avinash Machado
      • 10 Months Ago
      Overhyped.
      Julian
      • 7 Months Ago
      WARNING. This is a fraudulent promotion of hydraulic fracturing. It is also possible to drink the effluent of many sewerage facilities, separating out filth and clean does not mean the end of the production of filth. The danger here is consumer and policy misdirection. If natural gas cannot be sold without committing environmental fraud, then it is the wrong solution and inviting Mercedes and others to attack renewable energy and green transportation (note that they are never attacking ICE vehicles) then this needs to be fought.
      steve
      • 10 Months Ago
      HYDROGEN IS THE FUEL OF THE FUTURE.
      skoobey
      • 10 Months Ago
      Distilled water is just that, distilled, NOT STERILE!!! Meaning it's mineral free, but it may or may not be bacteria free, especially if kept exposed to atmosphere. So, for drinking drink your bottled water. P.S. Just realized I know who the girl is, but still have no idea who's that dude. I think she was in some CSI show or something.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 10 Months Ago
      "Whether that problem is "we don't like importing oil" or "we don't like breathing smog" or "we need to use our current power plants more efficiently" or "I want to power my car with sunshine", the real solution is "BEV". FCVs also accomplish each of those goals. Especially if you want to efficiently harvest all available wind and solar power at times when the grid would otherwise be overloaded.
      Allaround
      • 10 Months Ago
      If global warming and climate change are the main problems the only solution is electric/hydro vehicles and nuclear generated electricity. Yes you have to ignore radiation risks and whatever, but if greehouse gases are the culprit then nuclear energy is the only way to power such a big population.
        nocommie11
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Allaround
        Treehuggers are actually the ones that are making Nuclear energy dangerous by not allowing new construction of new design reactors which are inherently safe and have been operating for decades in universities and research facilities.
      BraveLil'Toaster
      • 10 Months Ago
      Will they drink the emissions from the natural gas reformer, though?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 10 Months Ago
        @BraveLil'Toaster
        Carbon Dioxide and steam. That's the recipe for fizzy water.
          Joeviocoe
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Materials that are useful in bulk, are often burdens in trace amounts. Hydrogen sulfide will likely not be attempted to recover in natural gas fuel cells
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Joevoicoe didn't think I was funny. Oh well.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Joeviocoe does raise a valid point though... What to do with all that dangerous Hydrogen Sulphide? "In recent years, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has come to be regarded as a mineral from which two valuable products (hydrogen and sulfur) can be extracted." "Because of the significant amounts of H2S available worldwide, efforts have been made in recent years for the production of hydrogen, in addition to sulfur, from H2S through a number of approaches." "The cost of producing H2 was cited at $1160/ton ($3.08/Mscf) for this natural gas-fired system, compared to $670/ton ($1.78/Mscf) for a comparatively sized Claus plant plus steam methane reformer. However, the portion of the H2 cost attributable to natural gas fuel for the decomposition reactor was $727/ton, or 63% of the total. The superadiabatic decomposition reactor, on the other hand, does not use natural gas under normal operating conditions, and is a self-sustaining process obtaining all of the necessary heat from oxidation of a small portion of H2S in the feed. In addition, in the GTI process, significantly higher temperatures can potentially be achieved, leading to improved H2 yields." http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy02osti/32405a16.pdf Thanks, Joeviocoe. You've led me to learn about *yet another* industrial process that produces the valuable hydrogen that is so needed by future advanced technologies.
          Joeviocoe
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          no reaction is 100%... and Natural Gas is not pure methane. https://www.enbridgegas.com/gas-safety/about-natural-gas/components-natural-gas.aspx Even a trace amount of Hydrogen Sulphide can be bad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_sulfide#Safety
          danfred311
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Open wide
          Joeviocoe
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I never joke about the quality of my fizzy pop
      Letstakeawalk
      • 10 Months Ago
      The distillation process sterilizes water. It's likely the oldest water purification man uses, and is still a widely-used method of making safe drinking water. Sure, bacteria can grow in pretty much anything if left exposed.
      paulwesterberg
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good thing they got their fuel from the Burbank station where the hydrogen is generated inefficiently via electrolysis rather than steam reformation of natural gas which is the cheapest most common way to generate hydrogen.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Days Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Hey man.. celebrities go for the good stuff that's twice the price.. because they're classy
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          People are willing to pay higher prices for cleaner products. People are willing to pay more for solar power than for coal power. People are willing to pay more for renewably-sourced hydrogen. (not that they paid for it personally, since this was a PR stunt)
        Edge
        • 2 Days Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        > steam reformation of natural gas which is the cheapest most common way to generate hydrogen. That must be so well known here, and wondering if it has to be mentioned over and over again. Yes, we know, the cheapest form of creating hydrogen is not entirely a clean process! Might as well mention problems with hydrogen storage, cost of the fuel cells, cost of a hydrogen station, yada, yada, yada.
          Edge
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          And EV's have ZERO impact? You broken record, why don't you harp on in every positive EV thread of their environmental impact. Give me a break, about you sense of fairness, or justice.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          Joeviocoe prefers to believe that which has not yet been built, will never be built. It least it's an ethos. Some people are a little more optimistic.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          I never said that EV's have zero environmental impact, but that is what the video above tries to insinuate about hydrogen vehicles. Lets evaluate the efficiency of a hydrogen vehicle powered by electrolysis vs an EV: Using the lower heating value of hydrogen, the electrical energy needed to generate one kg of hydrogen is 51 kWh (using an electrolyzer efficiency of 65%). The vehicle has a hydrogen capacity of about 3.7 kg which can power it for 400km and requires 188.7kWh of electricity to generate. According to fueeconomy.gov the Tesla Model S(85) uses 9.5kWh to travel 40.2km. This means that it would take 94.53kWh for a Model S to travel 400km. This means that the Model S is twice as efficient as this hydrogen vehicle when using electricity as its fuel source.
          Edge
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          And EV's have ZERO impact? I missed you negative comments in the EV threads? Your sense of fairness and justice only works in the hydrogen articles.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          While FCVs are getting incrementally better in the lab... nobody is building H2 stations in the real world. So in the lab they will stay.
          Edge
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          Sorry for the double post, as I thought the comment was not showing up, after a refresh. Yes, EV's are more efficient. Just don't think that people should be closed minded against hydrogen. It has a lot going for it, and I think EV's and hydrogen have a future for our transportation needs.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          I don't think in such simple terms. There is no solution to an economic paradox which the hydrogen economy is founded... that will hinder them for a long while. Just like CNG has been.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          "This means that the Model S is twice as efficient as this hydrogen vehicle when using electricity as its fuel source." No doubt, there's room for improvement in Mercedes' F-Cell. The current stacks can be improved, as can all the associated systems. Don't worry, FCVs will continue to get better.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          "There is no solution to an economic paradox [on] which the hydrogen economy is founded... " That sounds like a pretty simplistic point of view to me. I think that HRI can be built flexibly, alongside with and in response to a growing population of FCVs. Just two differing points of view.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Edge
          Yes it is worth noting in the face of industry propaganda like the video above where the source, cost, and environmental impact of the hydrogen is completely ignored.
      Zigzors
      • 10 Months Ago
      First, the title should be "C-Level Hollywood Stars Drink Hydrogen B-Class F-Cell Emission Water in Death Valley" and second, Joshua Jackson as HOT AS F#%&! (no homo)
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