Invisible Markets: Mercedes-Benz Launches Hydrogen-powered GLC F-Cell

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mercedes-Benz says it has begun deliveries of the GLC F-Cell, a battery-electric vehicle that can run on hydrogen or a stored electrical charge. That would make it the most sensible hydrogen vehicle currently in existence, which isn’t saying much.

At any rate, it doesn’t really matter because you’ll probably never see one.

The GLC F-Cell is currently bound for government agencies in Germany, likely to be utilized for green posturing. After that, it rolls out to select corporate fleets before becoming available, as a rental, to Germans in highly specific markets — you know, the scant few with hydrogen infrastructures already in place.

We’re not exactly crippled to learn we’ll never have access to another fuel cell vehicle, but it’s a shame Daimler is going to leave those absolutely gorgeous 80s-era graphics emblazoned across the doors in Europe.

Mercedes first showcased the fuel-cell SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Intended as a followup to the B-Class F-Cell — which is now almost a decade old — Benz claims its holding tanks is sufficient for 267 miles of hydrogen-only range, or just under 300 miles on a fully charged battery, using the NEDC test cycle. While it’s nice to see Daimler continuing to progress as a member of Hydrogen Mobility Europe, it seems like a pointless waste of the EU’s funds, given the complete absence of demand for these cars among the general public.

Still, the automaker isn’t giving up on the technology. As part of its joint venture with H2 Mobility, Mercedes says it wants to double the number of hydrogen fueling stations in Germany by the end of 2019. Unfortunately, this only means an additional 50 stations — explaining why the company is being so selective about the GLC F-Cell’s availability.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • CarnotCycle CarnotCycle on Nov 13, 2018

    Hydrogen is fuel of the future - in fusion reactors. There's a political market enamored by this tech's circus trick of pure water coming out the exhaust pipe. The peanut gallery falls for it every time. Suckers.

    • Stuki Stuki on Nov 14, 2018

      If one genuinely believe the stuff of life, carbon, is some sort of danger, H2 does start making some sort of sense as an energy distribution medium. Which translates to: If one is crazy to begin with, crazy stuff just may start to seem reasonable.

  • Erikstrawn Erikstrawn on Nov 14, 2018

    My first car was a GLC. I wish I still had it. Mazda, Mercedes, same thing, right?

  • Kcflyer hang in there Lexus. Keep making the IS with the V8 and sooner or later I will buy a new one :)
  • 1995 SC I'll take Mystichrome. And a different car
  • Wolfwagen I wish I could afford one of these except that stupid short master. Has no one learned from the Hummer H2 SUT?
  • 1995 SC Any Tom Petty album
  • Wolfwagen Another Democratic green energy boondoggle. Have they even paid for the clean up at Solyndra yet? I wish some investigative journalist would follow the damm money to see how much is going into the pockets of the DNC and Politicians and donors