F-CELL World Drive finishes in Stuttgart
Three Mercedes-Benz hydrogen cell vehicles have successfully completed their 30,000-kilometer (18,641-mile) F-CELL World Drive (Photo: Mercedes-Benz)
After spending 70 days driving through 14 countries on four continents, three Mercedes-Benz hydrogen cell vehicles have successfully completed their 30,000-kilometer (18,641-mile) F-CELL World Drive. The trio of B-Class F-CELL automobiles left Stuttgart on January 30th, along with an entourage of support vehicles. After traversing a variety of highways, city streets and even some unpaved country roads, they crossed the finish line in front of Stuttgart's Mercedes-Benz Museum this Wednesday (June 1st).
The drive was intended to illustrate the reliability and practicality of fuel cell vehicles, although the automaker does admit that a much larger refueling network is needed - there are presently about 200 hydrogen cell refueling stations worldwide, and it has been estimated that approximately 1,000 would be required in Germany alone in order to meet the needs of drivers in that country.
The F-CELL vehicles refueled at permanently-located stations only twice, but topped up about 130 times from a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van that was accompanying them on their journey. It had been modified to serve as a mobile refueling station.
One of the cars was involved in an accident in Kazakhstan, receiving damage to its bumper and rear axle, but was able to continue after repairs. The vehicles also set a record in that country, for distance traveled on a fuel cell without refueling. They covered 648 kilometers (403 miles) in two days, between Almaty and Balkhas.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
so they stopped at a station twice for fuel and filled from a diesel powered sprinter following or leading the pack 130 times, not very impressed here
It is very satisfying to see the technology come to fruition. Hopefully it will allow the Western world to eventually reduce it dependencies on the disgusting regime in Saudi Arabia that till that day does not allow women to drive a car.
Ironic that the company that brings us this technology was co-founded with the help of the first long distance driver who happened to be a woman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertha_Benz
Next step - reduce the costs to the diesel equivalent, for cost of acquisition, running costs and maintenance costs.
For driving all day, the fueling stop ratio is quite impressive (not to mention the distance they got out of the fuel they used). 130 stops (well, 132) over the course of 70 days would yield about 1.8 fuel stops per day, which would at least compare to current gasoline-powered vehicles.
Being expensive to produce, hard to contain, and having a low energy density. Hydrogen is a lousy fuel.
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