No hurry for hydrogen: Production Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell car coming in 2017

mercedes benz fuel cell vehicle due in 2017 f

The difference between craziness and brilliance often comes down to timing.

Carmakers hope the time is right for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Hyundai will launch its Tucson Fuel Cell in California this year, Honda and Toyota will put fuel-cell cars in showrooms next year, and now Mercedes-Benz has reportedly entered the fray.

Mercedes head of sales and marketing Ola Kallenius told Australia’s Motoring that the company believes hydrogen will play a key role in the future, and that it’s investigating what it calls the “next level” of the technology.

Like other carmakers, Mercedes has built limited numbers of fuel-cell cars to test the technology, but until now it hasn’t committed to a mass-market model.

That vehicle – likely an SUV – could arrive in the “2017-ish timeframe,” Kallenius said. However, he told Motoring that Mercedes is concerned about the lack of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

There are only 10 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States; nine of those are in California. Consequently, carmakers may have to adopt a “build it, and they will come” attitude similar to the launch of the first modern electric cars over the past few years.

However, while there weren’t many charging stations when the first Nissan LEAFs hit showrooms, electric cars can at least be charged from conventional outlets in a pinch. Hydrogen may be the most abundant element in universe, but when it comes to powering a car, it’s hard to come by.

So while Mercedes has experimented with fuel cells, it will likely continue to bide its time until the infrastructure problem is solved.

Still the company seems to think 2017 is the ideal time. After building about 200 B-Class-based F-Cell hatchbacks for the 2010 model year, Mercedes hinted at a production version, but then pushed its launch back to – you guessed it – 2017, saying it wanted to partner with another carmaker to lessen the burden of development costs.

If the production Mercedes fuel-cell car really does arrive in 2017, it will be a bit late to the party, but the cool kids are always fashionably late.


Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.