September 27, 2019 - The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL (weighted hydrogen consumption: 0.91 kg/100 km, weighted CO₂ emissions: 0 g/km, weighted power consumption: 18 kWh/100 km)¹ is a very special plug-in hybrid, as it operates on innovative fuel cell and battery technology for the first time: apart from electricity, it also runs on pure hydrogen.
Intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, long range and short refuelling times make the GLC F-CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for short and long-distance motoring. It features a totally new fuel cell system which is so compact that the entire system can be housed in the engine compartment for the first time and installed at the same mounting points as a conventional engine. In addition, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent in comparison to the predecessor vehicle. Consequently we protect resources and cut system costs without having to deal with performance deficits. Two carbon-fibre-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardised 700-bar tank technology, the supply of hydrogen can be replenished within just three minutes - as quickly as is customary when refuelling a combustion-engined car. With a hydrogen consumption of around 1 kg/100 km, the GLC F-CELL achieves around 400 hydrogen-based kilometres in the NEDC cycle; in hybrid mode it additionally delivers up to 50 km on a fully charged battery.
The lithium-ion battery has a gross capacity of 13.5 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. Plug-in technology makes it easy to charge via the 7.4 kW onboard charger at a standard household socket, a wallbox or a public charging station. Just like the drive motor, an asynchronous motor with an output of 160 kW (217 hp) and a torque of 375 Nm, the powerful storage battery is space-savingly installed in the rear of the SUV.
Coordinated: operating strategy with a unique variety of combinations
The innovative plug-in fuel cell drive combines the advantages of both zero-emission drive technologies and, thanks to its intelligent operating strategy, continuously optimises the use of both energy sources in line with the current operating situation. This is also influenced by the selected drive program: ECO, COMFORT or SPORT.
The GLC F-CELL has four operating modes:
The vehicle draws power from both energy sources. Power peaks are handled by the battery, while the fuel cell runs in the optimum efficiency range.
The state of charge of the high-voltage battery is kept constant by the energy from the fuel cell. Only hydrogen is consumed. This mode is ideal for steady cruising over long distances.
The GLC F-CELL runs all-electrically and is powered by the high-voltage battery. The fuel cell system is not in operation. This is the ideal mode for short distances.
Charging the high-voltage battery has priority, for example in order to recharge the battery for the maximum overall range prior to refuelling with hydrogen or to create power reserves.
In all operating modes, the system features an energy recovery function, which makes it possible to recover energy during braking or coasting and to store it in the battery.
The battery and all components containing hydrogen are governed by particularly stringent safety standards typical of Mercedes. Alongside safety in the event of a crash, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles undergo additional component tests at system level that go far beyond the usual tests. The drive components and hydrogen tanks of the GLC F-CELL are space-savingly and safely housed in the engine compartment as well as under the floor.
Marketing focus on H₂ cities
Vehicles have been handed over to selected customers since the end of October 2018. The focus above all is on major cities which are already comparatively well equipped with hydrogen filling stations: Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne and Düsseldorf. The GLC F-CELL, which features an excellent scope of equipment as standard, will be available solely in the form of a full-service rental model. This will include all maintenance and possible repairs together with a comprehensive warranty package covering the entire rental period. A market launch in Japan is also planned.
¹ The figures for hydrogen consumption, power consumption and CO₂ emissions were established using the prescribed measuring method acc. to Directive (EC) No. 692/2008.