Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH und Co. KG
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Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell: The fuel cell gets a plug

2017 sees the start of a new generation of vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell. Together with their partners in Daimler's specialist networks, Mercedes-Benz engineers have developed a fuel cell system that is 30 % more compact, and now for the first time fits into conventional engine compartments. As an additional innovation of the next generation of fuel-cell vehicles, the GLC F-Cell features a large lithium-ion battery.

The approximately 9 kWh battery serves as an auxiliary energy source for the electric motor and can now, for the first time, be charged externally using plug-in technology. The combination of fuel cell and battery systems offers maximum efficiency and comfort, as part of the further development of an intelligent operating strategy. The GLC F-Cell hereby achieves a combined range of 500 km in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

How exactly does it work? For the first time, a lithium-ion plug-in battery will be deployed in an electric vehicle with a fuel cell to enable operation also on battery power alone. The high-performance rechargeable battery has a capacity of approximately 9 kWh and is stored in the rear of the SUV to save space. It allows the GLC F-Cell to traverse a distance of up to 50 km in NEDC using electrical battery power only, and can be easily recharged from a conventional household socket, a Mercedes-Benz wallbox or a public charging station.

Two tanks clad in carbon fiber are installed in the vehicle floor and can store more than 4 kg of hydrogen. With the globally standardized 700-bar fuel tank technology, the GLC F-Cell refuels completely within just 3 minutes at a hydrogen filling station. This means that refueling times are the same as for vehicles with combustion engines.

The combination of fuel cell and plug-in battery is an ideal means of furthering the step-by-step expansion of hydrogen filling station infrastructure. The innovative plug-in fuel cell drive system combines the advantages of both emission-free technologies and, thanks to its intelligent operating strategy, consistently adapts its usage of the two energy sources to the given operating situation in the most efficient way.

By way of example, the system includes a recuperation function that allows energy to be recovered during braking and coasting, and then stored in the battery. Overall, the GLC F-Cell achieves a combined range of 500 km in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

The comprehensive fuel cell assembly and the hydrogen storage system are developed by the Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH in Kirchheim/Nabern in the German state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg. Daimler's core plant in Untert├╝rkheim is responsible for a plant location for fuel cell system assembly located in Nabern. The hydrogen fuel tank system, consisting of carbon-fiber-clad containers, is produced in Daimler's Mannheim plant, while the lithium-ion battery originates from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz, Saxony.

This is where Daimler AG can rely on its worldwide specialist network in the development and production of the innovative fuel cell drive system. The centerpiece of this technology, the fuel cell stack, is developed by a joint venture with Ford, the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) in Vancouver, Canada. The stack is manufactured in the Vancouver area at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Canada (MBFC).

Daimler is currently undertaking major preparations for series production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell. The fully family-friendly SUV, which is perfectly suited to the demands of everyday use, is being produced in the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, which acts as the specialist center for this series. The GLC F-Cell has been manufactured on the Bremen production lines since July 2015.

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