The first new Mercedes-Benz F-CELL hydrogen-powered B-Class vehicles are now available to California residents, making emission-free driving a reality.
Vance Van Petten took the keys to the very first Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL vehicle available to U.S. customers during an official hand-over at the newly renovated dealership of Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz in Newport Beach.
"As a long-time environmental advocate and supporter of sustainable production and eco-friendly transport, I'm thrilled to be driving a vehicle that I believe represents the future of environmentally thoughtful transportation - not only does it have zero emissions, but it also provides me with all of the safety technology one expects from Mercedes-Benz," said Van Petten, executive director of the Producers Guild of America.
Van Petten is part of a select group of people who are participating in a Mercedes-Benz lease program for the B-Class F-CELL Hydrogen car. As part of an initiative to further develop F-CELL vehicles and gain real-world experience in the United States, these vehicles will also be used to provide driving data to the Department of Energy to support their Hydrogen to the Highways program.
Due to the restricted number of Hydrogen fueling stations, Mercedes-Benz sought prospects for the F-CELL lease through its own survey and vetting process to determine who among the many applicants would become among the first to lease the F-CELL hydrogen vehicles. Those interested in leasing an F-CELL can visit http://www.mbusadigitalmedia.com/fcellsurvey/index.aspx to get additional information and apply.
Powered by an electric motor with 134 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque, the new B-Class F-CELL provides driving performance comparable to a similar conventional car while using about half the fuel. The car utilizes a fuel cell stack for generating electricity and a lithium ion battery for energy storage. Taking only approximately three minutes to refuel, The B-Class F-CELL emits only water as a by-product of the fuel cell system.
"The introduction of the F-CELL in California marks the beginning of zero emission Fuel Cell technology in the US for Mercedes-Benz," said Sascha Simon, head of advanced product planning at Mercedes-Benz USA. "With a range of 240 miles that never needs to be plugged and more than 15 years of Mercedes-Benz research already committed to the technology, we believe this is a great addition to our fast growing portfolio of alternative fuel vehicles that customers can choose from to best suit their lifestyle."