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Mercedes-Benz Delivers First "F-Cell" Vehicles

Powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells

June 15, 2004, Asia Intelligence Wire Just as petrol/electric hybrid cars are starting to make their mark around the world, DaimlerChrysler has delivered the first fuel-cell cars in Germany. The Mercedes-Benz A-class 'F-Cell' vehicles are being used as company vehicles by Deutsche Telekom and BEWAG/Vattenfall.

At the same time, Europe's first service station for fuel-cell cars has opened for business.

DaimlerChrysler plans that by the end of 2004, a total of 60 F-Cells will be operating in Japan, Germany, Singapore and the United States.

In the F-Cell A-Class, the entire fuel-cell system and the hydrogen cylinders are located in the vehicle's underfloor unit. This allows the interior and the luggage compartment to be fully used. The four-passenger car's high- torque electric motor is equally at home around town or out on country roads. For the entire drive system, multiple fuel cells are connected in series to the 'stack'. DaimlerChrysler is a pioneer in the development of the fuel cell for automotive application.

Ten years ago, the company presented the world's first fuel- cell vehicle which it called NECAR1.

Since then, the technology has been further advanced in numerous concept vehicles.

Thirty fuel-cell buses are now regularly seen on the roads in 10 major European cities. In the US, the delivery company, UPS, transports its packages in fuel-cell Mercedes Sprinters In Japan, Tokyo Gas and Bridgestone also operate fuel-cell vehicles. In Berlin, DaimlerChrysler is a partner in the 'Clean Energy Partnership' fuel-cell project.

This is a consortium comprising automotive manufacturers, technology companies, energy suppliers and politicians with the aim of promoting and advancing fuel-cell vehicles and the use of hydrogen.

By the end of this year, the partnership's first filling station will open to supply a fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles, including 10 F-Cell cars.

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