by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Daimler is increasing the pressure: extended operating range for fuel cell vehicles


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 04, 2008
  • The first A-Class F-CELL “plus” with 700-bar technology in everyday operation
  • A drive from Berlin, the German capital, to the Magdeburg environmental forum
Daimler AG has converted the first vehicles of its existing fuel cell fleet from 350 to 700-bar technology. With this more highly compressed hydrogen, the operating range of these vehicles can now be extended by up to 70 percent. The first practical test for an A-Class F-CELL “plus” featuring this technology was a journey from Berlin, Germany’s capital city, to the Magdeburg environmental forum; the vehicle thus demonstrated its suitability for everyday operation.

With around 270 kilometers - as compared with the original 160 - per tank filling, the new 700-bar technology is already extending the operating range in the current vehicle generation by up to 70 percent. The B-Class F-CELL, to be produced in a small series as of 2010, will even boast a range of about 400 kilometers. “These fuel cell vehicles can travel as far as automobiles with an internal combustion engine and are thus entirely suitable for everyday operation,” said Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Advanced Engineering, responsible for Body and Powertrain at Daimler AG.

B-Class F-CELL - the next generation

The new generation of fuel cell drive is far more compact and at the same time more efficient and ideally suited to everyday use. The technological basis of this development is the optimized fuel cell system presented by Mercedes-Benz in its F 600 HYGENIUS research vehicle in 2005. This highly compact unit operates much more efficiently than the fuel cells from the previous generations. The newly designed stack module is around 40 percent smaller, but develops 30 percent more power output and cuts fuel consumption by 16 percent. The system also has favorable cold-starting ability. This is made possible by innovations such as the electric turbocharger for air supply and the new humidification/dehumidification system.

The electric motor develops a peak output of 100 kW/136 hp and a maximum torque of 320 newton-meters. The B-Class F-CELL thus meets high requirements regarding driving dynamics that are above the level of a two-liter gasoline vehicle. Nevertheless, the emission-free fuel cell drive system of this compact family car has a diesel-equivalent consumption rating of only 2.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.
With some 4 million emission-free kilometers covered by its fuel cell fleet, Daimler AG has more data, expertise and experience at its disposal than any other manufacturer and with about 100 vehicles the company operates the world’s largest fuel cell fleet: concept vehicles, passenger cars, vans, and Citaro city buses are undergoing trials with customers in everyday operation.

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