Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, among others, is ceasing the development and production of hydrogen cars. The company made the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell, an SUV for the business market. The manufacturer is now going to develop hydrogen trucks together with Volvo.
Daimler Trucks CEO Martin Daum tells Automotive News Europe that production of the GLC F-Cell is almost finished and the last cars are now being handed over to customers. A successor is not planned. All employees and resources of the hydrogen project will now be focused on producing hydrogen trucks. To this end, Daimler will set up a new subsidiary, 50 percent of which will be sold to Volvo Trucks.
As a result, there is no longer any room for the development of a hydrogen car. Daum does say that Daimler has the options to return to hydrogen cars, if there is a market and a necessity for it. Daimler is on strike with hydrogen cars, according to the news site, because of the high costs associated with such a car. Producing a hydrogen car would be twice as expensive as making a comparable electric car with a lithium-ion battery.
The GLC F-Cell is a hydrogen-electric car that can drive 51 kilometers on the built-in battery and 430 kilometers by converting hydrogen into electricity. That 430 kilometers is based on the NEDC standard, presumably the GLC F-Cell can drive less far in practice. The car was never intended for private sale, but only for business partners such as hydrogen provider Linde or railway company Deutsche Bahn. Private individuals can rent the GLC F-Cell through Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes is now going to work with Volvo on hydrogen trucks, because there would be more potential here. According to the Financial Times, truck manufacturers must reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent within a decade. Trucks with only lithium-ion batteries would not offer enough range, hydrogen trucks could. Both companies hope to be able to bring the first hydrogen trucks onto the market in five to ten years. Both Daimler and Volvo are investing 600 million euros in the new company.
Mercedes-Benz GLC F Cell