Many people think that the infrastructure for a hydrogen-powered car just isn't there, and they're typically right. There have been a few progresses in hydrogen production recently, but the supply system is the weak point. Honda hasn't let that dissuade to the production of a hydrogen fueled car, and neither is Mercedes-Benz, which plans to launch a production hydrogen fuel-cell car in the U.S. next year.
The luxury automaker will produce 200 zero-emission vehicles, each based on the current B-Class compact. Half of these have been earmarked for the U.S., with the majority being expected to end up in California where there are currently hydrogen filling stations.
The information comes from Daimler R&D chief Thomas Weber, who exposed that the cars will go to private customers. The cars will be released early next year, but terms have not been finalized, he explained.Mercedes-Benz showcased the fuel-cell B-Class last week at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show. The car, which you can read more on in our previous story, has better performance than a 2.0-liter gasoline car and is fully suited for everyday driving.
The vehicle's technological heart is a dense, high-performance fuel cell system, in which gaseous hydrogen reacts with atmospheric oxygen at 700 bar to produce a current to power an electric motor that then drives the front wheels. Weber said the driving range on a single tank of hydrogen is be supposed to be about 250 miles.