At the beginning of 2010 Mercedes-Benz will start selling approximately 200 B-Class F-CELL models to customers in the US and Europe. The vehicle is now fully developed and ready for some real life experience. Production commences towards the end of 2009.
Mercedes-Benz is selling it as an electric car with better performance than an internal combustion 2.0-litre engine. It also boasts a fuel consumption figure equivalent to 3.3 litres of diesel per 100km in the Euro cycle (71.2 mpg US), or a range of 400km (248.5 mi).
"2009 is the year in which we are establishing further milestones where sustainable mobility is concerned," says Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Development for Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The B-Class F-CELL is taking on a pioneering role as the world's first fuel cell powered automobile to be produced under series production conditions."
Power is 100kW (136hp) and peak torque is 290Nm. All the torque is available from the moment the motor starts running. Its top speed is 170km/h (105.6 mph), just 26km/h (16.2 mph) short of the naturally aspirated B200. Average C02 emissions are zero grams per kilometre.
The high-performance fuel cell system is based on lithium-ion batteries. The reason for its power is the gaseous hydrogen which reacts with atmospheric oxygen at 700 bar to generate a current for the electric motor. So advanced, it has the ability to start even at minus 25 degrees Celsius (-13 F). Space is not compromised as the drive components are located in the sandwich floor.
There is no shortage of normal Mercedes-Benz amenities such as leather upholstery, automatic climate control and the COMAND system.