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Mercedes-Benz A-Class F-Cell in Singa-pore: fuel-cell
drive proven in everyday use
- Fuel-cell drive system copes
well with trials under conditions of extreme heat and
- Five companies have been
testing the technology of the future on the streets of
- More than 10 years of
automotive fuel cells: DaimlerChrysler moves forward with
Singapore/Stuttgart, Jun 27, 2005
Six Mercedes-Benz A-Class F-Cell cars have been on
the road in Singapore for a year now. The customers BP, Conrad,
Lufthansa, Michelin and the National Environment Agency (NEA) are
participating in the worlds most extensive trials so far,
advancing the market readiness of this drive system of the future.
The test project in Singapore is
focused on reliability in long-term use under extreme climatic
conditions. Tropical temperatures and high humidity place high
demands on the fuel-cells production of steam emissions,
and also on their cooling systems, which have to be far more
effective than with combustion engines. The temperature
difference between the coolant and the electrolysis in the fuel
cell, which takes place at about 80 degrees Celsius, is
relatively low. Heat ex-change is therefore more difficult than
with conventional engines.
The worlds biggest trial
of fuel-cell vehicles
After fuel-cell drive systems
emerged from the laboratory stage, in 2003 DaimlerChrysler
started the worlds biggest trial of fuel-cell vehicles
involving cars, vans and buses. Drivers and technicians report on
their experience on everyday driving with more than100 fuel-cell
vehicles all over the world. The fleets of passenger cars, buses
and vans supply valuable information for the further development
of this technology of the future. Vehicles and components have to
be optimized, while investigating the best way to set up a fuel
infrastructure and the general acceptance of hydrogen technology
among drivers and passengers.
At the beginning of the nineteen-nineties,
DaimlerChrysler research and development engineers started
working on applying this technology to the automobile. In 1994,
the first fuel-cell vehicle was presented, the NECAR 1, which was
followed by 20 research vehicles and prototypes. The size and
weight of the drive system was significantly reduced while
performance was enhanced. 180 patents regis-tered in the field of
fuel-cell technology underscore the Groups pio-neering work
in this field.
Since the end of 2004, 60 Mercedes-Benz
A-Class F-Cell cars have been in use as a part of
this large-scale trial with customers in Germany, the United
States, Japan and Singapore. In this initial test phase, some 370,000
kilometers were driven and documented with the vehicles under
very varying conditions, about a third of them in Singapore.
30 Mercedes-Benz Citaro
city buses with fuel-cell drive have been operating on regular
routes in ten European cities since 2003. Three more buses are on
the road in Perth, Australia, and another three will soon start
in Beijing, China. The buses have to prove their reliability in
various climatic conditions. During this period, the city buses
alone have covered more than 800,000 kilometers and transported
over three million passengers. In addition, several vans with
fuel-cell drive are operating in daily delivery service with mail-order
companies in Germany and the United States.
Fuel cells are the key technology
for emission-free driving in the future and are also the long-term
goal of DaimlerChryslers Energy for the Future
roadmap. Over the long term, they offer the best possibility to
secure uncompromising environment-friendly individual mobility,
because fuel cells run on pure hydrogen or hydrogen carriers and
make it possible to produce zero-emission cars: Through the
chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to produce water,
fuel cells create electrical energy which powers a motor. In
addition, the fuel-cell principle is about twice as efficient as
a conventional combustion engine.