Mercedes-Benz B-Class featuring zero-emission fuel cells

PhotoEssay: Fuel Cell

Three vehicles featuring zero-emission fuel cell drives will undertake a 125-day circumnavigation of the world.

  1. Setting out from Stuttgart on 30 January, three Mercedes-Benz B-Class vehicles featuring zero-emission fuel cell drives will undertake a 125-day circumnavigation of the world. Electric vehicles with fuel cells combine the benefits of a long range with a short refuelling time. The company wants to prove the maturity achieved with fuel cell technology and highlight its potential. The trip will also draw attention to the challenge of infrastructure for the provision of hydrogen.
  2. Travelling across four continents and 14 countries, the vehicles will go around the globe once, finishing back in Stuttgart.
  3. The symbolic starting shot was fired by Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Daimler, together with German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel.
  4. Setting up a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure for electric vehicles with fuel cells is an important factor for the market success of this technology. So far there are only about 200 filling stations around the world suitable for fuel cell vehicles. The provision of the tour-vehicles with hydrogen represents a tremendous logistical challenge.
  5. The hydrogen used to run the fuel cell is stored in three tanks at a pressure of 700bar. Each tank holds just under 4kg of the gaseous fuel. The tanks are hermetically sealed from the outside world, preventing the loss of hydrogen into the atmosphere. Thanks to the high compression ratio, vehicles can cover up to 400km with the tanks full. If the tanks are empty, they can be filled in less than three minutes, thanks to a standardised refuelling system.
  6. The tour will initially head south via Paris, Barcelona and Madrid, to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. There the cars will leave European soil and go by plane to the East Coast of the US. From Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the route heads across North America, along the Gulf of Mexico, leading westwards to Los Angeles, California. Then, travelling along the west coast of the US, the cars will head north to Canada. After driving for roughly one month and covering more than 7,500km, the vehicles will leave North America in order to continue their tour in the east of Australia. Starting in Sydney, the vehicles will head along the south coast of the fifth continent, covering more than 5,000km. The last transfer between continents on the world tour will finally take the F-CELL World Drive to Asia, to the destination of Shanghai in China then across Eurasia to Moscow. Finally, they will head down through Northern Europe and back to Germany again. After 70 days of driving on a journey lasting 125 days, the tour will finally come to an end, back in Stuttgart again, at the beginning of June.

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