What Is Mercedes GLC F-Cell?

The new electric SUV offers the next level of energy use: tricky, efficient and scientifically sophisticated. Sounds like a formula for the perfect car of the future, doesn't it?

The recently released Mercedes-Benz EQC has attracted so much attention that the new Mercedes GLC F-Cell stays out of the spotlight. Very in vain, because the crossover turned out to be interesting. Big mistake, the car joins the line-up of electrified EQ models, which will number 10 cars by 2020.

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Design Mercedes GLC F-Cell

Externally, the car is unmistakably identified as a GLC, but some changes can be noticed. This is not a styling package but secondary features of a hydrogen car. The novelty is distinguished by new bumpers, a unique design of the false radiator grille and blue accents all around.

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The alternative vehicle

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell is not the usual (as far as it is possible at the moment) hydrogen fuel cell car. The new hybrid model differs from all modern electric vehicles. Everything is not as we are used to in the case of a symbiosis of an ICE and an electric motor.

The hydrogen vehicle represents an electric vehicle because the chemical reaction of hydrogen generates electricity that powers the powertrain. But the GLC F-Cell is additionally equipped with a 13.5-kwhr lithium-ion battery that allows the SUV to drive 50 km using only electric power.

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The Mercedes hydrogen crossover has a rather complex layout: in the front, where the standard GLC has an internal combustion engine, there is a kind of powertrain that processes hydrogen fuel. There is a hydrogen tank under the rear seats (yes, it is safe). The electric motor and lithium–ion battery are located under the trunk floor.

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Technical specification

The total drive range together with the consumption of hydrogen (the tank holds 4.4 kg of fuel) is 478 km. You can fill up the car in just three minutes. Moreover, it takes about an hour and a half to fully recharge the battery. The electric motor produces 208 hp.

There are four driving modes: Hybrid (electric power and hydrogen consumption), F-Cell (energy is generated exclusively by splitting fuel cells), Battery (driving on electric power supplied by the battery) and Charge (a mode designed to restore battery power).

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At the end of October, the company will start delivering the new model primarily to major German cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne and Dusseldorf. The car will only be available on a long-term rental basis. The future of the hydrogen vehicle will depend on the success of the GLC F-Cell and the speed of the hydrogen station expansion.

Despite the promising technology, this direction is still quite undeveloped. At the moment, the market is focused on plug-in electric vehicles, which are simpler to implement. Apart from traditional ICE vehicles, EVs will now have to compete with hydrogen cars.

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