Under the microscope: Mercedes-Benz GLC-F CELL: World's first electric vehicle with fuel-cell/battery powertrain

OverviewPlans for more than ten different all-electric vehicles by 2022: All systems are goInterview with Ola Källenius: "At least one electrified alternative in every model series"Road #1: Electromobility: Electric pioneer Mercedes-Benz working hard to expand scope of zero CO2 mobilityUrban mobility of the future: smart planning to go all-electricUnder the microscope: Mercedes-Benz EQA show car: EQ concept in the compact classUnder the microscope: Mercedes-Benz GLC-F CELL: World's first electric vehicle with fuel-cell/battery powertrain Under the microscope: Battery technology: Further technological leaps expectedRoad #2: Hybrid vehicles: One of the broadest ranges of plug-in hybrid vehiclesUnder the microscope: Mercedes-Benz S 560 e: More power, more rangeUnder the microscope: Mercedes-AMG Project ONE: Formula One technology for the roadUnder the microscope: ECO Assist: Networked drive strategy for intelligent efficiencyRoad #3: Diesel engines, petrol engines, ISG and RSG, 48 V on-board electrical systemUnder the microscope: New petrol engines: Trendsetting technology and efficiencyUnder the microscope: New family of premium diesel engines: More economical and powerful, more lightweight and compactRoad #4: e-Mobility services: The mobility of the future will be more flexible and more connectedUnder the microscope: network of expertise: Bundling expertise and securing know-howUnder the microscope: Battery production: Daimler to build global production compound for batteriesUnder the microscope: charging technologies: Charging made easierUnder the microscope: Stationary energy storage units: From car to gridMercedes-Benz Vans: The future of inner-city transport is electricMercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles and Buses: Electric all the wayHeritage: Sights always set on alternativesGlossary: Key technical terms

At IAA 2017 Mercedes-Benz showcased the next milestone on the way to zero emissions driving with the pre-series models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑< /strong>CELL. With technology by the name of EQ Power, the most recent vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz range intended for series production electrifies in no less than two ways as it merges innovative fuel cell and battery technology in a plug-in hybrid vehicle for the very first time: in addition to hydrogen, the all-electric variant of the popular SUV will also run on electric power.

The vehicles unveiled at IAA represent a world first in which a fuel-cell-operated electric car uses a lithium-ion battery as an additional energy source that can be externally charged by means of plug-in technology. Thanks to intelligent interaction, the two energy sources drive the electric motor while offering locally zero emissions driving pleasure. The long range, short refuelling time, an output of 147 kW (200 hp) and the latest generation of assistance systems with powertrain-specific features demonstrate, based on the models on show, that the GLC F-CELL will be a family-friendly electric vehicle of high everyday practicality.

For this world first, Mercedes-Benz engineers cooperated closely with partners from the Daimler competence network to develop a completely new fuel-cell system. Compared with the B-Class F-CELL, on the market since 2010 (fuel consumption: 0.97 kg H₂/100 km, combined CO₂ emissions: 0 g/km), the overall drive system offers around 40 percent more output. The fuel-cell system is around 30 percent more compact than before, can for the first time be housed entirely in the engine compartment and is installed on the usual mounting points like a conventional engine. Also, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent. Consequently, resources are protected and system costs cut without having to deal with performance deficits.

The lithium-ion battery in the pre-series vehicles on show delivers a gross capacity of 13.8 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. For the first time, it can also be charged externally using plug-in technology. An intelligent operating strategy in combination with the fuel-cell/battery system offers maximum efficiency and comfort. Just like the drive motor, the powerful storage battery is space-savingly installed in the rear of the SUV. By means of the 7.2 kW on-board charger, it can be conveniently charged from a standard, domestic power socket, a wallbox or a public charging station. The charging time is around 1.5 hours if the full capacity is used.

Two carbon-fibre-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold around 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardised 700 bar tank technology, the supply of hydrogen can be replenished within just three minutes, which is about the same amount of time it takes to refuel a car with an internal combustion engine.

The F-CELL vehicles on show at IAA are powered by an asynchronous motor with an output of 147 kW (200 hp) and a torque of 350 Nm. As the electric drive requires no propeller shaft, this makes room for one of the two hydrogen tanks, while the second tank is installed under the rear seat bench.

Identically to the plug-in hybrid version the GLC's fuel cell variant features various operating and drive modes. The drive programs of the GLC F-CELL will include ECO, COMFORT and SPORT. ECO is optimised for low consumption. COMFORT is geared not only for comfort, but also provides ideal climate control. SPORT optimises the hybrid powertrain for a sporty performance.

While the drive programs change the response of the car and therefore the driving experience, the operating modes influence the interplay between fuel cell and high-voltage battery. The combination of drive programs with operating modes is presented for the first time in this form in a fuel-cell vehicle.

Daimler applies extremely high safety standards to all its vehicles. This rings true for both vehicles with a conventional, internal combustion engine and also those with an alternative drive. This means that the vehicles comply with all legal standards and regulations. However, the internal safety requirements for Mercedes-Benz vehicles go one step further. Especially the crash-related requirements are aligned to the so-called Real Life Safety philosophy. 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 powertrain components and hydrogen tanks of the F-CELL pre-series vehicles are space-savingly and safely housed in the engine compartment as well as in the vehicle underbody.

 

Technical data of preproduction vehicles (IAA)

CO2 emissions:

0 g/km

H2 range in hybrid mode (NEDC):

437* km

Battery-electric range in battery mode (NEDC)

49 km

Drive system:

Electric motor

Battery:

Lithium-ion

Fuel cell:

PEM (polymer electrolyte fuel cell)

Rated output:

147 kW (200 hp)

Max. torque:

350 Nm

Top speed:

160 km/h (electronically limited)

H2 tank capacity:

4.4 kg (usable for SAE J2601, 2014 or more recent)

Battery capacity (gross/net):

13.8 kWh/9.3 kWh

Length:

4671 mm

Width:

2096 mm

Height:

1653 mm

Track width:

1625 mm (front) | 1621 mm (rear)

Wheelbase:

2873

*Measurement in presence of TÜV.

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