In another move to improve the cleanliness of its model family, Mercedes-Benz is busy developing a fuel cell powertrain that will be fitted within the GLC by 2017. The brand’s head of research and development Thomas Weber confirmed the decision to AutoCar, announcing that engineering parameters have now been finalised.
On the mid-size SUV’s greener output Weber commented: “We are targeting a combined range for the fuel cell and battery of up to 600km [373 miles], along with a refuelling time for the hydrogen tanks of three minutes.”
The model, known as the GLC F-Cell, will take the challenge to Toyota’s Mirai and the Honda FCV Clarity. Fellow German firm BMW is also widely believed to be readying a hydrogen-powered model for 2020.
Mercedes’ entry to this growing segment is set to be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show prior to release in 2018. It will only go on sale in select markets initially and will be available to either buy outright or lease.
The sophistication of the hydrogen system and resulting costs mean that it is only commercially viable when fitted to a high-end model, such as the GLC. As developments continue and the costs involved fall the manufacturer could extend the powertrain to other vehicles in its evolving range.
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