Monday, 17 April 2017

Has Mercedes seen the light on fuel cells?

Mercedes F-Cell
Credit: Wikipedia

Fuel cells are one third as efficient as lithium ion batteries. In practice, used to drive a car, they yield poor acceleration.1 These problems appear to be fundamental to the physics & chemistry of fuel cells. Or as hydrogen proponent David Wenger, CEO of Wegner Engineering, which developed the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for the Mercedes F-Cell hatchback put it, “In total, the results are sobering, sadly. That really hurts.”2,3

Elon Musk understands fuel cells too:

Digital Trends – “Elon Musk on hydrogen fuel-cell cars: ‘I just think that they are extremely silly’”,

In light of the above, the apparent enthusiasm of some car makers for that technology is puzzling. Mercedes, though is showing signs of having seen the light:

Green Car Reports – “Did Mercedes turn its back on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles?”,

Car Advice – “Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell future uncertain”

Gas2 – “Mercedes Says It Will Not Pursue Fuel Cell Development For Its Cars”

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Can fuel cells compete with batteries?”,

2 Green Car Reports: “Did Mercedes turn its back on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles?”,

3 Wegner Engineering: “Engineering Office – Wenger Engineering GmbH”,

/ Wenger Engineering GmbH Elon Musk hydrogen fuel-cell cars Mercedes-Benz Mercedes Benz F-Cell compress liquefy hydrogen compress extremely high pressure liquefy large global automakers research multiple technologies future powertrains German automakers plug-in electric cars zero-emission vehicles hydrogen fuel cells networks of fueling stations supply pure hydrogen high pressures Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler research vehicles powered by hydrogen partnered with Ford and Nissan research and development R&D hydrogen fuel-cell technologies high costs vehicles production volume production Mercedes powered fuel cell adapted GLC crossover utility hydrogen fuel cell electric drive motor plug-in battery pack grid electricity plug-in hybrid range extender hydrogen fuel cell planned battery-electric vehicle David Wenger German hydrogen proponent driver Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell small Mercedes hatchback powered by a hydrogen fuel cell trade H2-International results are sobering short range between refueling stops reliability fueling network phone app show real-time status of each station Mercedes negative future cars powered by hydrogen Mercedes Benz Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche industry conference fuel cells battery costs declining rapidly hydrogen production remains very costly reserved to fleet operators only will not be practical for consumer sale until the price of hydrogen fuel falls considerably widespread and cheap renewable energy /