DETROIT — Daimler is hedging its bets by preserving hydrogen gasoline cell expertise in growth, even because the German large and many of the remainder of the trade have shifted focus to electrical automobiles powered by lithium ion batteries.
Daimler launched the preproduction Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell crossover final 12 months on the Frankfurt auto present. It combines hydrogen gasoline cell and battery applied sciences within the type of a plug-in hybrid getting most of its vary from the gasoline cell facet.
However why pour cash into gasoline cells when the automaker has stated it expects battery electrics to account for as much as 25 % of worldwide gross sales by 2025?
“We’ll scale, when it comes to going into tens and tons of of hundreds of manufacturing, the battery-electric automobiles first,” Ola Kaellenius, Daimler board member in control of r&d, stated on the Detroit auto present. “However we are going to maintain the gasoline cell in growth, so we now have this technological possibility ought to there be a shift available in the market on this path.”
The prospect for the F-Cell within the U.S. is murky. In September, Mercedes stated it deliberate to promote it right here starting in 2019. However an organization spokesman final week stated there is no such thing as a timeline for the U.S.
Kaellenius termed gasoline cells an “attention-grabbing expertise for the long run,” particularly for bigger automobiles as a result of they’ve higher vitality density than battery-electric automobiles.
“It is conceivable that the subsequent era of gasoline cells might go right into a bus as a substitute,” Kaellenius stated. “Within the winter, heating the bus requires loads of vitality, and a mix between an electrical drive and a gasoline cell could possibly be a greater possibility.”