Mercedes has announced that the new Mercedes GLC F-CELL will be launched before the end of the year. Not only is this the first hydrogen-powered Mercedes to be commercially available, but it’s also the first hydrogen car that’s also a hybrid.
Confused? Well, until now, all available hydrogen-powered cars have been just that – powered by hydrogen and nothing else (for more information on how this works, click here). When the Toyota Mirai or Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell run out of hydrogen, they grind to a halt.
The coupe looks identical to its SUV sibling up to the B-pillar, post which, the roof-line dives into the tail-section. Visual elements such as the diamond radiator grille, bigger alloy wheels, blacked out mirror caps and skid-plates add a bit of sportiness to the package. The rear looks like a scaled-down version of the bigger GLE Coupe, integrating the large tail-lamps and the sharply raked windscreen into one good-looking package.
Sales will start next year in territories that already have a reasonable density of hydrogen filling stations, including Japan and California. Mercedes has said no decision has been taken on when – or indeed whether – to bring the car to the UK yet.
The need to achieve Mercedes’ target of a 500km (310-mile) range means the F-Cell has two hydrogen tanks, both made from ultra-strong carbonfibre weave. One is mounted longitudinally under the centre of the car and the other transversely at the back. Total hydrogen capacity is 4.3kg, stored at 700bar and good for a claimed 280-mile range. The extra 30 miles comes from the 8kWh battery pack sited above the rear tank.