Daimler: Fuel cell vehicles to cost no more than diesel hybrids by 2015

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell – Click above for high-res image gallery
Toyota has declared on numerous occasions that it will launch a sedan-type fuel cell vehicle in 2015 at a price of $50,000 or less. Hitting that price point may prove difficult, but Daimler agrees that its doable. Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility at Daimler, recently told Automotive News that the cost of fuel cell vehicles will decline at a rapid rate in the coming years. Kohler stated:

By 2015, we think a fuel cell car will not cost more than a four-cylinder diesel hybrid that meets the Euro 6 emissions standard. By 2013-2014, we want to bring a four-digit-number of fuel cell vehicles to market.

Kohler added that he expects fuel cell vehicles to be less expensive than comparable battery-powered cars within the next five years. Currently, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell is available for lease in the U.S. at a price of $849 a month (plus tax). However, Kohler points out that the F-Cell employs expensive technology that will be replaced with less pricey hardware when the second-generation model launches in 2013-2014.
Additionally, Mercedes-Benz is toying with the notion of developing fuel cell versions of the A-, C- and E-Class models within the next five years. If the company can sucessfully incorporate its fuel cell technology into multiple platforms and reach mass production levels, costs could plunge by mid-decade.

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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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