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Mercedes-Benz Fuel-Cell Car Ready for Market in 2014

Mercedes-Benz,H2 World Drive 2011;USA

Just the Facts:

  • Mercedes-Benz is rushing a fuel-cell car to market, saying on Tuesday that it is moving up the target for volume production from 2015 to 2014.
  • Mercedes says the fuel cell will have a range of 250 miles.
  • The price of a Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell car — most likely based on the B-Class — has not been set yet, said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, in a media roundtable discussion.


NEW YORK — Mercedes-Benz is rushing a fuel-cell car to market, saying on Tuesday that it is moving up the target for volume production from 2015 to 2014.

“The product is ready for the market technically,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, during a media roundtable discussion here on Tuesday morning. “We have proven that by sending three vehicles with a fuel cell around the globe without any relevant problems. The issue is infrastructure. We made this trip to prove technology is ready and we need partners to take care of infrastructure.

“We intended to go for volume production in 2015, but because of the experience of the world tour we have pulled forward.”

He said volume production would begin in 2014. Mercedes says the fuel cell will have a range of 250 miles.

Three Mercedes-Benz B-Class Fuel Cell cars recently made a global trip to prove “the everyday usability of fuel-cell technology,” according to Daimler.

Zetsche said that Mercedes-Benz has “not defined prices yet” for the production version of the fuel-cell car.

“The target is to be cost-wise by the middle of the decade at the level of the diesel hybrid, which is not cheap, but marketable today,” he said. “That would be our first target. It’s a challenging target, but a realistic target.”

He did not say what the fuel-cell vehicle would be called or what he was referring to when he spoke of a “diesel hybrid.”

The Honda FCX Clarity, a hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, is available on a limited retail basis in Southern California.

Inside Line says: A Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell car may be in your driveway before too long. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent

June 23, 2011 - 11:01 AM