Daimler To Enter FCV Market In 2017

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

While Japanese and Korean automakers like Toyota and Hyundai are jumping into the hydrogen game, Daimler plans to begin its own journey in 2017.

Automotive News interviewed Daimler head of corporate research Herbert Kohler about his employer’s hydrogen plans. Kohler briefly reflected on how Daimler were questioned on focusing upon fuel-cell technology before everyone else, stating that if an automaker wasn’t now at least considering the game, it would have to ask itself “some uncomfortable questions.”

As for the timetable of releasing an FCV by 2017, he states that while Daimler had planned to do so by 2015 at the latest, its joint partnership with Nissan and Ford to develop the technology will give all three time to bring the tech’s high costs down amid increasing volumes by the time 2017 rolls around.

Finally, when asked how much Daimler would charge for their FCV — in light of the $68,000 price tag for the 2015 Toyota FCV — Kohler says his employer’s goal is to price its FCV on par with “the hybrid version of a comparable model.”

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • FractureCritical FractureCritical on Jul 23, 2014

    what a waste of perfectly good R&D dollars.

  • Waterview Waterview on Jul 23, 2014

    I will quickly admit that I possess no engineering knowledge whatsoever (my greatest engineering accomplishments generally include duct tape as a critical component), but I don't understand why having a diesel option, a gasoline option, an electric option, and a hydrogen option are a waste of time and money. This might be a reach, but we have German food, Japanese food, Italian food all delivered from a diverse infrastructure - why can't we have consumer transportation with a variety of fueling options? Would like to better understand why this engineering endeavor is flawed. Thanks.

    • See 1 previous
    • Cdotson Cdotson on Jul 23, 2014

      @SCE to AUX As another engineer, I will add that all of SCE's arguments are valid when expressly comparing plug-in battery electric vehicles to FCVs with on-board hydrogen tanks. I personally think that the fool's errand is reliance upon on-board H2 storage in gaseous or liquified form. On-board reformation of hydrogen is a far more plausible scenario but has its own inefficiencies and attendant byproducts depending on the chemical source of hydrogen. Given also that fuel cells work better as steady-state electricity production ultimately FCVs also require being battery hybrids, which could also be a plug-in hybrid using the fuel cell as a range extender. In the paradigm of a PHEV with fuel cell range extender using on-board reformation, I believe that hydrogen fuel cell development is absolutely worth pursuing. I have yet to see enough information from any of these companies to determine if that is the avenue they are pursuing or if they may bumble into it after chasing billions after billions.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jul 23, 2014

    Look at that tiny B-Class! It's the same as a ForTwo!

  • RogerB34 RogerB34 on Jul 23, 2014

    California requires an automaker to produce a small number of cars that produce no emissions. They also have allocated $46.6m for 28 refueling stations Bay Area, LA and along I5. Otherwise no interest.