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Mercedes to go around the world in 125 days in fuel cell EVs

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January 13, 2011

The three B-Class F-CELL EVs that will circumnavigate the globe in the Mercedes-Benz F-CEL...

The three B-Class F-CELL EVs that will circumnavigate the globe in the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive

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As the competitors in the Zero Race for EVs get set to cross the finish line at the end of the month, another team will be setting out on their own around the world journey. This time it’s Mercedes-Benz, which is aiming to demonstrate the efficiency and everyday use suitability of fuel cell technology and campaign for the development of a global hydrogen filling station network by circumnavigating the globe with three of its first series-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the B-Class F-CELL.

The B-Class F-CELL uses an electric drive system powered by a fuel cell that generates the electrical power on board from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Boasting a range of around 400 km (248.5 miles) and short refilling times, Mercedes is using the around the world trip to highlight the vehicle’s suitability for both everyday use in urban areas as well as longer journeys.

To overcome the current lack of hydrogen filling stations, Mercedes has enlisted the help of international gases and engineering company Linde AG, which will supply hydrogen via its sites and subsidiaries around the globe. In remote areas a tank vehicle, which has been specially developed for the tour, will be used to refuel the vehicles with the necessary hydrogen.

Mercedes says that, in recognition of the invention of the automobile 125 years ago, the F-CELL World Drive will last 125 days on a route that will take it through through four continents, 14 countries and a wide variety of climate zones along a range of road conditions to demonstrate the technical maturity of its B-Class F-CELL.

Starting out from Stuttgart, Germany on January 30, the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive will travel through France, Spain and Portugal before heading to North America, where they will drive through the U.S. and Canada. After traveling across Australia the vehicles will hit Asia and pass through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, and finally northern Europe, before returning to Stuttgart at the beginning of June.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
5 Comments

Well, the Zero Race didn't require a support tanker to prove their point. All they needed was electric outlets (which are everywhere) vs. hydrogen filling stations (which are nowhere).

Eletruk
14th January, 2011 @ 09:19 am PST

By using the Aluminum/Water fuel cell, the need for compressed hydrogen would be eliminated. A much better, safer and less expensive way to go - not to mention completely recyclable into...you guessed it...aluminum. I love that sustainable cycle.

Muraculous
14th January, 2011 @ 10:41 am PST

And of course we have no precedents from the last 200 years of an infrastructure for a new energy source being created, as we are all still dependent on wood and coal for all our energy needs. How is your horse by the way?

dabear64
14th January, 2011 @ 11:15 am PST

" This electric car has zero emissions, has a range of 400km, takes three minutes to refuel with hydrogen and consumes the equivalent of 3.3 liters of diesel per 100km" (Taken from a previous article on the B-class F-cell)

Once hydrogen becomes readily available and a means of storing the hydrogen on board at lower pressure is found, then this type of car may become practical.

Adrian Akau
15th January, 2011 @ 11:09 am PST

So perhaps we should switch our stupid petrol company subsidies to hydrogen generation companies?

Of course to make hydrogen you need electricity, and in many countries at this time we have primarily coal-based electricity generation. Just need clean, low-cost electricity generation and we're sorted :)

Ashlin
16th January, 2011 @ 11:15 am PST
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