The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell is one costly car. At $849 (plus tax) a month, it's not a vehicle that we'd consider wallet-friendly. However, the hydrogen-fed F-Cell is so unlike a conventional auto that its high price tag, which includes the cost of insurance and refueling, could be considered reasonable to some.
With an operating range of approximately 249 miles, 0-60 runs accomplished in less than 11 seconds, emissions consisting of nothing more than water and short refueling times, the B-Class F-Cell combines many desirable attributes into a single package that, in some ways, outperforms most of its pure electric competition.
Jonathan Port, Permacity president and chief executive officer, who is also a self-proclaimed west coast expert on sustainable energy, solar design and environmentally conscious real estate development, recently discussed the virtues of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell. Port even took one for a ride down the ritzy streets of the Pacific Palisades and you can listen to his commentary and watch the vehicle in action after the jump.
[Source: Bader Group]
Mercedes Benz: New B-Class F-CELL: First Manufacturer to Bring a Fuel Cell Powered Zero Emission Vehicle onto US Roads
As California is renown for its high environmental standards for automotive transportation, Mercedes-Benz presented the new B-Class F-CELL as the first fuel cell-powered electric car produced under series production conditions in the USA. The first vehicles will be handed over to selected customers before the end of this year. In 2012 approximately 70 of these environmentally friendly cars, which are being made available on a rental basis, will be operating on a daily basis in California.
With the model year 2011 B-Class F-CELL, Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to date to bring a fuel cell-powered Zero Emission Vehicle onto the roads, which has been certificated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board).
With an operating range of approximately 400 kilometres and short refuelling times, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL combines locally emission-free mobility with long-distance comfort and compelling performance figures. The technical basis for the drive system of the B-Class F-CELL is the optimised, latest-generation fuel cell system. This is about 40 percent smaller than the system in the A-Class F CELL, which has been undergoing practical trials in the USA since 2004, but generates 30 percent more power while consuming 30 percent less fuel.
The cold-start capability of the B-Class F-CELL is down to minus 25 degrees Celsius.
Key Facts - Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL
Purely electrically driven vehicle with an operating range of around
400 kilometres in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle)
A chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen produces electric power which is fed to an electric motor
Water is the only emission
The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery as the energy provider has a storage
capacity of more than 1.4 kWh
The vehicle has front-wheel drive
Designed as a compact family car with full day-to-day suitability, the
B-Class F-CELL consumes the diesel equivalent of only 3.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres in the NEDC
At the heart of the B-Class F CELL is the new-generation electric drive system powered by a fuel cell, which is compact, powerful, safe and fully suited for everyday use. The fuel cell generates the electrical power on board from a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen, producing only pure water and zero emissions. The key drive components are located in the sandwich floor, where they are protected and do not take up much space, leaving the vehicle's interior and boot fully usable.
In order to further the commercialisation of fuel cell-powered vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is involved in the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), an association of automobile manufacturers, energy suppliers, government bodies and technology companies, as well as in the newly formed Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA).