AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Over the last year some lucky individuals – namely, Chrylser employees or interns, have had the opportunity to drive a zero-emissions Mercedes-Benz fuel cell-powered passenger car to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California to complete their drivers test.
President Bush has stated, “I believe that todays children will one day take a drivers test in a hydrogen-powered, pollution-free car. Thats the goal of the United States.” DaimlerChrysler is taking that step today.
“It was an experience to see the look on the evaluators face at the DMV,” said Peter Friebe — who recently passed his exam. “Im sure it made his day to ride around in the F-Cell giving me my driving test.”
DaimlerChrysler has spent more than $1 billion in fuel cell vehicle research and development. No other manufacturer has accumulated more data or driven more zero-emissions miles — almost two million.
The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell is a reflection of DaimlerChryslers leadership in fuel cell technology. The entire fuel cell system is housed in the floor of the vehicle, leaving full use of the passenger and cargo spaces. It has a range of approximately 100 miles and a top speed of 85 mph. The electric motor develops 88 hp (65 kw), enabling acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 16 seconds. The stack has been developed by the DaimlerChrysler cooperation partner Ballard Power Systems.
The DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicle fleet is diverse — in addition to several research vehicles, it also includes medium-duty fuel cell Dodge Sprinter vans and more than 35 Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses, which operate in Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore. As part of the worlds largest fleet of fuel cell vehicles, DaimlerChrysler has more than 25 fuel cell vehicles with customers in California and more than 100 around the world. No other manufacturer comes close to the efforts of DaimlerChrysler with fuel cell technology. According to Nick Cappa, Manager Advanced Technology Communications DaimlerChrysler Corporation, “DaimlerChrysler has a lot of fuel cell cars available for use and they need to put miles on them. The employees and interns are helping us with the real world testing we need and, in turn, able to get their drivers license.”
DaimlerChrysler pioneered fuel cell vehicle technology more than a decade ago. Fuel cells release energy from the reaction of hydrogen with a catalyst and oxygen. This clean technology operates at a high level of efficiency and is true zero-emissions. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles emit only pure water vapor as exhaust. Fuel cell vehicles are part of DaimlerChryslers advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which includes efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesels, Flex-Fuel and hybrid powertrain systems.