Development Underway on Mercedes Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered GLC

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Mercedes-Benz GLCThe recent releases of the Toyota Mirai and Honda FCV Clarity have sent the motoring world into a flurry of excitement, and now Mercedes-Benz looks set to unveil its own take on these hydrogen-powered designs.

With the latest reports suggesting that the German motoring giant could reveal its sensational innovation as early as 2018, we look at what we know so far…

A Covert Operation

It’s no surprise to motoring enthusiasts that a hydrogen fuel powered vehicle is the latest innovation that Mercedes-Benz is working on. The motoring leviathan has been open about its desire to adopt the technology, admitting not only that it’s working on it, but also that its goal is a 373 mile range, with a refuelling time of just three minutes.

However, until recently, the manufacturing behemoth has remained tight-lipped with regards to which models the hydrogen tech will be implanted into. Now, sources at Autocar suggest that the just-introduced GLC-class crossover will be the first vehicle to feature this new powertrain.

The Chosen One

Many have questioned why the GLC would be touted as the vehicle of choice by the Mercedes-Benz design team, but the reasoning is relatively simple to unpick: it is an expensive vehicle and expensive technology, and only the cost of the former makes the implementation of the latter worthwhile monetarily.

As Thomas Weber, head of research and development at Mercedes, explains: “The continued high cost of the fuel stack makes a hydrogen fuel cell model commercially viable only in higher classes. The technology has matured greatly in recent years, with improved packaging and efficiency, but it remains in its infancy and is still quite expensive by conventional driveline standards.”

Even if we take financial considerations out of the equation, however, the GLC remains a strong candidate to showcase this groundbreaking technology, based solely on the brilliance it is expected to possess. Set to be unveiled in autumn 2017 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, all current reports indicate that it’s a model to get excited about, and its £50,000 price tag does little to dispel these notions.

A Worthy Competitor

Already, Mercedes-Benz has strong competition in the hydrogen-powered market, with both the Toyota Mirai and Honda FCV Clarity making waves in the luxury car sphere. With BMW touted to join them come 2020, rivalry is fierce, meaning that the new GLC will need to be something to really write home about.

In one respect, it already promises to undercut its Toyota rival; despite the GLC’s £50,000 price tag, the Mirai is currently retailing at £66,000, making it a far more economic option than one of its most fierce competitors.

With hydrogen fuel technology set to explode onto the market, and a number of exquisitely designed vehicles ready to showcase it, the GLC F-Class is just one more innovation to get excited about. Are you ready for it?


Written by