Reykjavik – With the Mercedes-Benz A-Class F-Cell, the first fuel-cell-powered passenger car is now on the road in Iceland. DaimlerChrysler today delivered the zero-emissions vehicle to the companies Landsvirkjun and Reykjavik Energy. The two energy utilities will use the vehicle for an initial period of one year in their fleets under realistic conditions. “Mobility plays an essential role on the way towards a sustainable hydrogen economy," says Gudmundur Thoroddsson, CEO of Reykjavik Energy, which is implementing the policy of over one-half of the company’s fleet being fuelled by alternative sources by 2013. “We are convinced, that fuel cell driven vehicles are the concept of the future.” At the beginning of 2008, DaimlerChrysler will deliver the next A-Class F-Cell to Iceland.
"The use of our fuel-cell-powered A-Class in Iceland is an excellent example of sustainable mobility, because the hydrogen is produced locally with geothermal energy or hydropower. This means that totally environment-friendly motoring is already a reality in Iceland," says Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Advanced Engineering Body and Powertrain as well as Chief Environmental Officer of DaimlerChrysler AG.
Over 10 years of commitment
With over 100 vehicles, DaimlerChrysler operates the largest fuel-cell fleet in the world: concept vehicles, passenger cars, vans and Citaro city buses. With more than three million zero-emissions kilometers behind it, the company has more data, know-how and experience at its disposal than any other manufacturer. Since the mid-1990s, DaimlerChrysler has invested well over one billion euros in research and development on fuel-cell-powered vehicles. This technology is a key element of DaimlerChrysler's powertrain strategy – alongside efficient internal combustion engines and alternative fuels.
Through the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen, the fuel cell produces electrical energy with very high efficiency - approximately twice as high as that of internal combustion engines - regardless of whether such an internal combustion engine is run on conventional fuel or hydrogen. Fuel-cell-powered vehicles emit nothing other than pure water vapour. In the A-Class F-Cell, the entire fuel-cell system and the hydrogen tanks fit into the underbody of the vehicle and do not take up any space in the interior or luggage compartment. The F-Cell has a radius of operation of around 160 kilometres. The high-torque electric motor delivers 65 kW, which allows dynamic motoring in town and across country. In around 14 se-conds, the vehicle accelerates from zero to 100 km/h; the top speed is 140 km/h.