Daimler is committed to securing sustainable mobility by reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions today, and eliminating them entirely in the long term. No single technology will play a dominant role. Instead, the solution will lie in an intelligent blend of drive concepts for all mobility scenarios. In its “Road to Emission-free Driving” initiative, Daimler is concentrating on three key areas of development: further advancing internal combustion engine technology, substantially increasing vehicle efficiency through hybridization and, most importantly, emission-free driving with electric vehicles powered by batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.
Research and development on fuel cells conducted by Daimler since 1994 has brought the technology to series production maturity. The Group’s pioneering achievements are underscored by 180 patent applications in this field of technology. The main objective now as an automaker is to make these vehicles cost competitive with conventionally powered vehicles. In addition, a hydrogen fueling infrastructure must mature before vehicles are brought to market. Daimler continues to work closely with partners from the government, energy providers and other automobile manufacturers to ensure that a sufficient infrastructure is on hand to support the industry goal of commercializing fuel cell vehicles in the next years.
The latest generation fuel cell vehicle by Daimler is the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL. Introduced in 2009, this is Daimler’s first series production fuel cell vehicle and represents a decisive milestone on the road to market-readiness of the technology. 200 F-CELLs are in operation in Europe and the United States. In the U.S., 50 F-CELLs are underway in the State of California where they can be leased at select Mercedes-Benz dealerships in greater Los Angeles; as of 2013, vehicles will be available for lease in the San Francisco Bay Area as well (www.mbusa.com/fcell).