Mercedes-Benz GLC Confirmed with Hydrogen Fuel Cell for 2017

Mercedes-Benz GLC 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is set to launch a hydrogen fuel cell version of its GLC crossover sometime in 2017.
The eco-friendly GLC-Class is expected to have a range of around 300 miles (approx. 500 km) and will be fitted with the latest in fuel cell technology available on the market. The news comes straight from Thomas Weber, the head of Mercedes-Benz's Research&Development department.

The future fuel cell version of the GLC will benefit from an advanced set of modular components. The specified technical solution was developed to ensure compatibility of parts between pure electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.

The upcoming model is to be called the GLC F-Cell and will have its fuel cell components mounted under the hood, while the hydrogen tank and the battery will take the space usually reserved for the fuel tank. Therefore, the passenger compartment and the trunk won't lose any space.

Choosing such a solution brings multiple advantages to a manufacturer, as it reduces production and development costs, making the technology cheaper to use in the future. Similar solutions have been utilized in the world of internal combustion engines for a long time, and manufacturers such as the Volkswagen Group and their competitors have recently turned to modular platforms.

While cost-effective, this solution does bring some risks for a carmaker. If something goes wrong in the production or development phase of the shared components, all the vehicles using them will eventually have to be fixed through a recall. But the main advantage of this solution is bringing more affordable electric and fuel cell vehicles to market, so the risk is worth it to most carmakers.

In an interview with the Brits at Autocar, Weber revealed that the car is in the middle of the roll-out phase. Furthermore, the engineers at Mercedes-Benz have accomplished further advancement in developing the German brand's first mass market production electric vehicle.

While the company has had its share of electric and fuel cell vehicles in the past few years, these cars haven't been on sale in the traditional kind of way, and some were only available through a restricted leasing program.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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