Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

In the next few weeks, the B-Class F-Cell, Mercedes' first-ever production fuel-cell vehicle, will go into limited production. By next month, the first 200 models would be built and will be delivered to customers who have leased it in the US and Europe.

While the vehicle was on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Dr Thomas Weber, head of research and development, had spoken to media and broke the news.

The hydrogen-electric hybrid is claimed to be comparable in performance to a 2.0-litre petrol car, but its zero-emission powertrain can manage the equivalent of 86.6mpg on the combined cycle.

The electric motor produces 134bhp and 214lb ft of torque. Its range is around 250 miles and it takes three minutes to refuel the car with hydrogen.

By comparison, a 1.8-litre petrol B-class (no 2.0-litre petrol model is available) produces 114bhp and 114lb ft of torque in B180 BlueEfficiency SE guise.

If you're still hung up on the blatant weakness of existing fuel-cell vehicles that is its inability to perform cold starts, you can breathe easy now since the B-Class F-cell can start in temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius. Its Honda FCX Clarity rival still trumps it though since it is able to start from minus 30 degrees Celsius. 

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