Mercedes revealed the new GLC F-Cell, the first car destined for series production that combines a hydrogen fuel cell with a plug-in battery pack.
The new GLC F-Cell debuted as a preproduction model, with the car currently offering a combined driving range of up to 437km (272 miles) and an electric range of up to 49km (30 miles).
The innovative powertrain offered a combined output of 197hp (200PS – 147kW) and 350Nm of torque (258lb-ft). Mercedes claims that the fuel cell system in the GLC is around 30 percent more compact than the one in the B-Class F-Cell, allowing it for the first time to be housed entirely in the engine bay, like a conventional engine.
“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,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler. “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.”
Mercedes was also able to reduce the use of platinum in the fuel cell by 90 percent, thus conserving resources and lowering the cost of the system. The lithium-ion battery pack in the preproduction model has a capacity of 13.8kWh and is housed together with the electric motor on the rear of the car. The company says it needs 1.5 hours to be fully charged, when the full charging capacity is enabled.
There are two carbon-fiber tanks encased on the floor of the car for the hydrogen with a total capacity of 4.4kg. A full refuel takes just three minutes.There are three operating modes: Hybrid, where the car draws power from both sources, Battery, enabling electric-only operation and Charge, where charging the battery pack is a priority.
Mercedes says that the series production models will come with coil springs up front and a rear air suspension. The company hasn’t still announced the details of the GLC F-Cell’s market launch but expect to hear more in the coming months.