Mercedes is used to being an automotive innovator. Still, the idea to make a plug-in fuel cell vehicle is surprisingly simple. Not too long ago, the company announced its GLC F-Cell, which is a hydrogen fuel-cell version of the crossover, will also come with a battery pack and a plug.
You have to ask what’s even the point? Why not just make a plug-in hybrid version of the GLC, or just release a purely electric variant?
It’s all about early adopters. Hydrogen stations are expensive, costing as much as $2 million each. That means placing them on every street corner, like how some people have envisioned, isn’t realistic, at least for now.
By throwing in some batteries and a plug, Mercedes is letting people get around that way when it comes to city trips. Then, if they need to go long distance, they can hit up a hydrogen station that otherwise isn’t too close to their home.
The logic is as more people get on board with the new tech, hydrogen stations will become cheaper to build. That means more hydrogen stations, making pure fuel cell vehicles more practical.
There’s also the fact that as things sit right now, electricity is the cheapest way to power a vehicle. Mercedes is looking to leverage that, and get people warm to the whole idea of hydrogen. Will it work? Who knows. Ten years ago electric cars seemed like a pipe dream to most.