A piece of Mercedes-Benz’s busy Frankfurt Motor Show lineup is a prototype of a fuel cell hybrid. Stuttgart has offered up a technical preview of this fuel cell vehicle, which will be called the GLC F-Cell EQ Power.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it before. Back in 2016 Mercedes showed off another F-Cell version of the GLC as a technical preview ahead of a scheduled 2017 launch for the production version of the alternative propulsion vehicle.
Nonetheless, Mercedes has apparently felt the need to recycle the concept for this year (perhaps with some changes). Like last year’s, this F-Cell EQ Power is actually not a typical hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Instead, this one is a full-on plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Mercedes has paired a plug-in electric system that utilizes a 9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a hydrogen fuel cell engine. The combination presents an interesting situation because it potentially subsidizes the main problem with fuel cell vehicles: lack of hydrogen fueling stations.
With this powertrain, owners can plug-in the GLC F-Cell at any vehicle recharging station, providing a more prevalent alternative to the scarce hydrogen fuel stations.
That said, the battery pack is rather small and allows for only 30 miles per charge. With a full tank of hydrogen, the GLC F-Cell has a reported range of about 300 miles.
Supposedly a production version of the GLC F-Cell EQ Power will ultimately arrive to market. Perhaps during the prototype’s September 12th reveal we’ll learn which global markets will gain access to the F-Cell, along with more details of its powertrain.