Mercedes-Benz, the subsidiary of Daimler announced to stop the development of hydrogen cars, which it considers too expensive.
This judgment of the company, which has been working on fuel cell vehicles for three decades, however only concerns cars. The firm will work with Volvo on heavy trucks using this energy.
Bad time for hydrogen
Mercedes-Benz does not question the technical principle of fuel cells. Markus Schäfer, director of research at Daimler, says that " work very well "Before adding:" It's just a cost issue "
The specialized site Automotive News highlighted : " Fuel cell cars have long been touted as an answer to reducing emissions and pollutants because they only emit water vapor. They have a long autonomy and a short replenishment time, similar to a combustion engine vehicle. But these vehicles are at least twice as expensive to build than a battery equivalent. Therefore, the selling prices, when advertised, do not reflect this cost "
Mercedes-Benz is therefore preparing to abandon its only fuel cell model, the GLC F-Cell SUV, of which it has produced only a few hundred copies. The brand should also not dwell on the development of other cars in this segment. It thus joins other manufacturers who have decided to withdraw. Among them, Renault-Nissan, which was developing a new hydrogen model until 2018 in partnership with Daimler and Ford. Honda put its hydrogen projects on hold last November, while Volkswagen said last month that " everything speaks in favor of the battery, and practically nothing speaks in favor of hydrogen "
Priority for heavy goods vehicles
That said, Mercedes-Benz is not completely abandoning this segment. If the manufacturer stops the development of hydrogen cars, it will continue to work on heavy-duty projects using this energy. The Daimler group, which already has electric heavyweights in its boxes, has just concluded a partnership with Volvo.
Together, the two actors will work on trucks using fuel cell technology. The heavy vehicle segment would be more suitable for fuel cells, as the large battery packs of electric models can affect the maximum authorized weight of a truck. However, the P.-D.G. of Daimler Trucks, Martin Daum, said that the 200 million euros to be invested by the two companies in this project " certainly won't be enough To put the technology into production.
If he does not make an announcement, Martin Daum remains optimistic about the use of hydrogen on light vehicles, declaring: We will always have the possibility to return at any time if there is a market and a need " Other manufacturers and countries continue to defend the path of the fuel cell. Toyota is planning its hydrogen-powered Mirai for this year. China also opened the world's largest hydrogen filling station last year.
Source: Electrek and Automotive News.