The GLC F-Cell is, according to Mercedes-Benz, the first electric vehicle with fuel cell and battery. We have no information on whether another car has previously had the same configuration. It is currently under development and Mercedes-Benz says it is manufacturing units prior to serial production.
The power of the electric motor is 197 horses. It is an asynchronous type motor that gives 350 NM of torque . As it does not require a cardan shaft, one of the tanks is housed in the corresponding hole. The other goes under the backseat.
In this new platform the electric motor and the accumulator are mounted in the back that, according to the brand, saves space. Hydrogen is stored in two tanks with a carbon fiber outer shell at a pressure of 700 bar (standardized pressure). The capacity of the hydrogen deposits is 4.4 kg, which gives it an autonomy of 437 km. The capacity of the lithium-ion battery is 13.8 kWh (gross, so they are not entirely usable) and allows a range of 49 km.
Mercedes-Benz says that one of the advantages of the fuel cell is that its refueling requires very little time (around three minutes), unlike a conventional electric recharge or even a rapid recharge (which in the best of cases, with the current technology, is usually about half an hour for autonomies equivalent to the GLC F CELL, although it depends on the capacity of the batteries). The built-in charger has a power of 7.2 kW and can charge it to the maximum in 1.5 hours.
The driver of the F-CELL GLC will have three driving modes (which influence the vehicle response: ECO, COMFORT and SPORT) and four service modes (which influence the interaction between the fuel cell and the high battery voltage: HYBRID, F-CELL, BATTERY and CHARGE).
In HYBRID mode the system harnesses the power of the two energy sources, the battery covers the demand points and the fuel cell always operates in its maximum performance regime. In F-CELL mode, the fuel cell battery power is used to maintain the battery charge. In BATTERY mode, only energy is extracted from the battery, designed for short trips. In CHARGE, as in hybrid plug-in cars, priority is given to recharging, for example, to have maximum autonomy before refueling hydrogen. In all modes there is a power recovery function during braking and one of inertia advance.
Externally the F-CELL distinguishes itself by a series of additions in blue color, slightly modified bumpers and wheels of 20 inches of diameter. Inside it has some specific embellishments of this version, open pore wood moldings, 10.25-inch multimedia screen and instrumentation using a 12.3-inch screen. This GLC launches a touch panel ( “Multitouch”) that supports writing and gestures with one or more fingers.
Like the rest of the GLC range, the F-CELL has the same safety and assistance features. The standard equipment of the production units will include timer air conditioning and heated seats. At low temperatures the car uses the residual temperature of the fuel cell.
The front suspension has coil springs and the rear air springs, with automatic level regulation (the rear axle remains at the same height always, even if it is loaded with weight).
In 2010, Mercedes-Benz put on sale in some countries (not in Spain) the Class B F-CELL , fueled by fuel cell. Regarding this model, the brand says that “the fuel cell system is approximately 30% more compact, can be integrated for the first time completely under the hood and fixed as a conventional engine to the suspension points provided in the vehicle. At the same time, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90%.
Mercedes-Benz appeals to the need for a large infrastructure of service stations with hydrogen to make fuel cell technology interesting as an alternative to vehicles with internal combustion engines, something that in Spain still requires a lot of investment and that makes an option not valid. The infrastructure strategy that Mercedes-Benz plans for its electric vehicles is called CASE (acronym for Connected Autonomous Shared & Services). The plans of the company go through to launch ten electric models until 2022.