While the popularity electric vehicles has spurred the installation of charging stations to feed these EVs, manufacturers like Daimler feel the inadequate infrastructure support that the government and private sector are giving to alternative fuels like hydrogen.
As the F-Cell World Drive planners have anticipated, there are very few hydrogen refueling stations across the continental U.S. and in the 35 refueling stops that the F-Cell cars will make in the U.S. leg, only one stop can be made at a public refueling station. The rest of the fillups will be from Linde tanker trucks strategically positioned along the route.
Despite the favorable impressions and acceptance garnered from the public about the hydrogen-powered vehicles participating in the World Drive, Mercedes has seen that the short-term viability in the U.S. of the F-Cell cars is doubtful, due to the lack of infrastructure. According to Thomas Weber, Daimler member of the board for Group Research and Development, “The American market is already active in the field of fuel cell technology, but like in Europe, there is still a need for development when it comes to infrastructure. Together with our regional partners, we want to point out the potentials of this technology and to get important lead markets ready for the rollout of a high number of electric vehicles with fuel cell technology.”