It may be onto something with this new crossover.
Automakers have recently been trying out different green ways to power cars. Tesla has been at the top of the electric car game for some time. Toyota also has its funky-looking Mirai, powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell, that debuted last year. With a potential maximum range of 300 miles, the Mirai showed us that there is a possible future for hydrogen fuel-cell cars. It seems that Mercedes-Benz got jealous and decided to respond with the GLC F-Cell. The car is based on the GLC-Class revealed a few months ago.
The GLC F-Cell is set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017 and arrive in showrooms the following year. At around $76,000, Autocar states that the car is to be offered to customers in select markets on a monthly lease program or for an outright purchase. Thomas Weber, Mercedes-Benz head of research and development, told Autocar that the automaker is “targeting a combined range for the fuel cell and battery of up to 600 km [373 miles], along with a refueling time for the hydrogen tanks of three minutes.” That’s really impressive for such a new type of powertrain. Weber also told Autocar that “the continued high cost of the fuel stack makes a hydrogen fuel cell model commercially viable only in higher classes."
This means that you won’t be able to drive a hydrogen fuel-cell Prius right now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come at all. Weber continued, saying “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.” Give it a few more years and we think you can own a hydrogen-powered Prius. It’s a very bold move for Mercedes-Benz to sell a car powered by such a new and costly powertrain for such a reasonable price. Does this mean that Mercede will be the place to go for “affordable” hydrogen fuel-cell cars just like how Tesla is where to go for well-executed electric cars? Only time will tell.