Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL:
First Fuel Cell-Powered Car to Enter Series Production
Mercedes-Benz is about to launch a 'fuel cell' vehicle in|
a more serious manner than any of their competitors.
7th September, 2009
Mercedes-Benz is launching its first series-produced fuel cell car on
the road: the new zero-emission B-Class F-CELL. The environmentally friendly electric car has performance similar to
a 2.0-litre petrol car and is fully suited for everyday driving. The zero-emission drive system consumes the
equivalent of 3.3 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). Production of the
B-Class F-CELL will commence in late 2009 with an initial small volume. The first of around 200 vehicles will be
delivered to customers in Europe and the USA at the beginning of next year.
The new fuel cell vehicle offers everything that people expect from a Mercedes-Benz: High comfort and safety as
well as no reduction in interior space and boot capacity. Customers will not have to sacrifice any driving pleasure
either, because the electric motor has a peak performance of 100 kW and a maximum torque of 290 Nm, which is
available from the first rotation. It ensures that the B-Class F-CELL, whose impressive dynamic handling properties
are in some cases far better than those of a two-litre petrol car, gets off to an excellent start.
Despite these qualities, the zero-emission fuel cell drive consumes the equivalent of only 3.3 litres of diesel
fuel per 100 kilometres (NEDC). Thanks to its great range of about 400 kilometres and short refuelling times of
around three minutes, the B-Class F-CELL ensures local zero-emission mobility even for long stretches.
"2009 is the year in which we are establishing further milestones where sustainable mobility is concerned. The
B-Class F-CELL is taking on a pioneering role as the world’s first fuel cell powered automobile to be produced under
series production conditions", says Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG,
responsible for Group Research and Development for Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The vehicle’s technological 'heart' is the new generation of the compact, high-performance fuel cell system, in
which gaseous hydrogen reacts with atmospheric oxygen at 700 bar to generate a current for the electric motor. The
fuel cell system of the B-Class F-CELL has a very good cold-start capability even at temperatures as low as minus 25
degrees Celsius. The drive system was completely developed from new; compared to the F-CELL A-Class presented in 2004
Mercedes-Benz engineers have achieved considerable improvements in output, torque, operating range, reliability,
starting characteristics and comfort.
The B-Class F-CELL now offers driving pleasure and day-to-day suitability at Mercedes level – without local
As in hybrids with combustion engines, the fuel-cell car uses a lithium-ion battery with an output of 35 kW and a
capacity of 1.4 kWh to boost power and recover braking energy. Lithium-ion technology offers several advantages over
conventional batteries, including compact dimensions, high performance, great recharge efficiency and a long service
The B-Class F-CELL employs the unique sandwich floor architecture that is well-known from the A- and B-Class. The
advantage of this design is that the drive components are located between the two layers of the sandwich floor,
where they are protected and don’t take up much space so that the vehicle’s interior remains fully usable, also
leaving available a boot capacity of 416 litres.
The B-Class F-CELL comes comprehensively equipped. Eye-catching features include a bonamite silver paint finish
and exclusive light-alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design. In the interior, leather upholstery, seat heating, automatic
climate control and the COMAND-system, as well as other features, continue to ensure a high level of comfort.
Same level of safety as in other Mercedes cars
No matter what the conditions, the operational reliability of the B-Class F-CELL is of the same high level as in
Mercedes vehicles with conventional combustion engines. The B-Class F-CELL’s integrated safety concept takes the
specific characteristics of the innovative drive system into account. The concept incorporates the expertise from
the many years of experience Mercedes-Benz has had with fuel cell drives and high-voltage applications. Mercedes
engineers have tested and optimised the drive-specific components’ safety in more than 30 additional crash
Network of filling stations required for car’s widespread use
With more than 100 test vehicles and a combined total of over 4.5 million kilometres of trial testing, Daimler
and Mercedes-Benz have the most extensive experience with fuel cell vehicles of any manufacturer worldwide.
The B-Class F-CELL is further testimony of this technology’s high level of development for automotive use.
However, a comprehensive network of hydrogen filling stations still has to be set up before locally zero-emission
driving can become a widespread reality. To make this possible, Daimler is cooperating with government authorities,
energy utilities and oil companies in joint projects in places such as Hamburg, Stuttgart in Germany and in the
American state of California.
Mercedes-Benz views the development of electric cars with battery and fuel cell drives for local zero-emission
driving as a means of supplementing vehicles with high-tech internal combustion engines. Advanced diesel and petrol
engines will remain important for automotive applications for a long time to come - not only for individual mobility
in passenger cars - especially over long distances - but, more importantly, for freight transport in trucks.
Electric vehicles, on the other hand, will increasingly be used in urban transport.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell technical data
Electric motor with fuel cell
Rated output (kW)
Rated torque (Nm)
Maximum speed (km/h)
Consumption (NEDC) (l of diesel equivalent/100 km)
Total CO2 (g/km min.–max.)
Range (km) NEDC
Capacity of lithium-ion battery (kWh/kW)
to -25 °C