Powered by an electric motor delivering 134 horsepower, the Mercedes F-Cell B-Class offers the advantages of a gas-powered conventional car, while using half the fuel and emitting only water.
Paul Bates - CleanMPG
- Dec 18, 2010
Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz carmaker has begun delivering hydrogen-powered B-Class fuel-cell vehicles for lease to California residents, in the latest in a string of rollouts of alternative-energy models in the United States.
This month, General Motors Co. launched a plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt, and Nissan Motor Co. started selling its battery-powered all-electric Leaf car. Honda Motor Co. already leases FCX Clarity fuel-cell cars in southern California, which has hydrogen refueling stations.
Vance Van Petten, executive director of the Producers Guild of America, took the keys to the first Mercedes B-Class F-Cell vehicle available to U.S. customers at the Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz dealership in Newport Beach. Mercedes is leasing the vehicles to a small group of people to study how the vehicles perform under real-life conditions.
The company said it would provide data to the U.S. Department of Energy to support its Hydrogen to the Highways program. Daimler is among the leaders in fuel-cell technology, along with Honda, GM and Toyota Motor Corp.
Automakers are rolling out a variety of advanced-technology, fuel efficient models in an effort to meet stringent regulations coming into force and also to demonstrate their technological prowess.
Powered by an electric motor delivering 134 horsepower, the Mercedes F-Cell B-Class offers the advantages of a gas-powered conventional car, while using half the fuel and emitting only water. The vehicle, which takes three minutes to refuel, is powered by a fuel cell stack generating electricity and has a lithium-ion battery for energy storage.
"We believe this is a great addition to our fast-growing portfolio of alternative fuel vehicles that customers can choose from to best suit their lifestyle," said Sascha Simon, head of advanced product planning at Mercedes-Benz USA.
This week, Norwegian electric carmaker Think delivered 15 battery-powered cars built in Elkhart, Ind., to the government of Indiana for its vehicle fleet. "Our delivery today is part of a larger effort to help transform the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet from one that is mostly dependent on imported oil, to one that is fueled entirely by domestically produced electric energy," said Think CEO Barry Engle.