This Friday, Mercedes-Benz finished their F-Cell World Tour North America leg in Seattle, at the new and state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz of Lynnwood dealership. The World Tour will continue their journey in Australia. We were there live and got a very close and personal encounter with the cars and huge group of Daimler engineers and organizers.
The drive itself was very smooth, just like with any other hybrid out there today. The advantage was that the B-Class F-Cell only uses a electric motor, meaning that there is not emissions whatsoever. The electric motor is very quick and responds immediately to the touch of the pedal. When approaching a street light, the engineer advised us to let go of the pedal and let the car role to a stop; this way the car actually re-charges the battery.
The hydrogen used to run the fuel cell is stored in three tanks at a pressure of 700 bar. Each tank holds just under 8.8 pounds of the gaseous fuel. The tanks are hermetically sealed from the outside world, preventing the loss of hydrogen into the atmosphere even if the vehicle is left to stand for long periods. Thanks to the high compression ratio, the B?Class F?CELL can cover long ranges of up to 400 kilometres with the tanks full, over twice as far as the A-Class F?CELL. If the tanks are empty, they can be filled simply and quickly in less than three minutes, thanks to a standardised refuelling system.
During the F-CELL World Drive, three Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL vehicles are passing through 14 countries and 4 continents – to drive around the globe once. Organised by Mercedes-Benz, the circumnavigation of the world started on 30 January 2011 in Stuttgart and is scheduled to last 125 days, until the vehicles return to Stuttgart again at the beginning of June, after covering a distance of some 30,000 kilometers. The aim of the tour is to demonstrate the technical maturity and suitability for everyday use of electric vehicles with fuel cells, and at the same time highlight the need for the development of a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure. Mercedes-Benz is being supported on the tour by Linde AG, which is responsible for supplying the hydrogen.