Twenty Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Vehicles to Participate in DOE Technology Validation Project

    November 24, 2010

    Twenty Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles deployed in California will be part of a technology validation project of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Program. Mercedes-Benz recently announced that it will place seventy fuel cell vehicles in California by 2012. This deployment shows a strong commitment to advanced technology vehicles and international collaboration to bring these technologies to their fullest fruition. Bringing vehicles with the latest technology advancements to U.S. roadways as part of the DOE’s project will help validate the technologies for ultimate market acceptance.

    The U.S. Department of Energy has participated with industry in a 50/50 cost-shared project to validate fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations under real-world operating conditions and demonstrate advances in research. Mercedes-Benz North America has been involved since 2005 and will continue to provide critical data to the DOE from 20 of the fuel cell vehicles being announced today.

    A total of 152 vehicles and 24 fueling stations have reported data to the DOE’s project, including vehicles from General Motors, Ford, and Hyundai Kia, in addition to Mercedes-Benz. These vehicles have travelled over 2.8 million miles and have shown a durability of 2,500 hours, equivalent to about 75,000 miles.

    The second generation, B-class Mercedes-Benz vehicles are designed to have a 270 mile driving range on one tank of hydrogen and take less than 5 minutes to fill. It is also currently certified by the EPA and CARB as a zero-emission vehicle for the 2011 model year.

    Vehicles will be delivered to select customers in California before the end of this year. The full 70 vehicle fleet will be deployed by 2012. Based on successful performance of these vehicles, Mercedes-Benz anticipates commercialization of fuel cell vehicles in the 2015 timeframe.