Mercedes-Benz completes F-CELL World Drive

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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After a journey through 14 countries on four different continents and 90,000 kilometres traveled, Mercedes-Benz has successfully completed its F-CELL World Drive. The giant tour was conducted in order to promote the robustness and usability of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the German automaker used special hydrogen-powered B-Class vehicles in order to complete the daunting task. Called the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL, the compact vehicles use zero emissions drivelines and crossed the finish line of The World Tour in Stuttgart after driving since January.

"With the F-CELL World Drive we have shown, that the time for electric vehicles with fuel cell has come. Now the development of the infrastructure has to pick up speed," said Chairman of The Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Dieter Zetsche. "For only an adequate number of hydrogen fuelling stations enables car drivers to benefit from the advantages of this technology: high range, short refuelling times, zero emissions.

In order to make hydrogen fuel cell power more accessible for motorists, Mercedes-Benz has been lobbying for a network of hydrogen refuelling stations. According to Mercedes-Benz, there are approximately only 200 such fuel stations throughout the world. Furthermore, the German automaker says a network of approximately 1,000 fuel stations would be needed in Germany alone in order to provide an adequate fuelling infrastructure.

Mercedes-Benz partnered with the Linde Group in order to overcome the scarcity of hydrogen fuel stations throughout The World Drive. The Linde Group aided the B-Class F-CELL`s with a co-developed mobile fuelling system in the form of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cargo van which joined the tour as a support vehicle. The World Drive was conducted through downtown sectors, country roads, highways, and also unfinished surfaces during treks through Australia and China.

Hydrogen fuel and hydrogen fuelling infrastructures have the potential to be less environmentally harmful than gasoline or diesel while also taking advantage of what appears to be a more abundant fuel source. Though its development has been slow, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and the refuelling infrastructure needed to support them are becoming more practical thanks to efforts such as the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Mercedes-Benz, 2011, Hydrogen, B Class, F-Cell World Drive,

Organizations: Mercedes-Benz

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