German car manufacture Mercedes has concluded the18, 640 mile test journey of three B-Klasse F-Cell models, nicknamed the F-Cell Tour. The conclusion: the cars work great but the infrastructure changes needed to maintain the car are going to be a pain.
The main problem is the need for hydrogen stations. Hydrogen stations require investment, development, and strategic placement that would prove profitable for the investors. Overall, this is a daunting task but Daimler, the owner of Mercedes, is committed to making hydrogen stations common place across Europe.
Daimler is focused on starting the hydrogen station development and placement in Germany and from there create a network of hydrogen fueling stations that will span from the Alps to the North Sea. Daimler is not going to be doing this alone; Daimler intends to partner with The Linde Group, a world leading supplier of industrial, process and specialty gases and one of the most profitable engineering companies in the world. The Linde Group was one of the main supporters of Daimler’s F-Cell tour. Other partners include EnBW, oil giant OMV, and French company Total.
The B-Klasse F-Cell models proved to have high range, short refueling times, and zero emissions. However, the sticking point is the refueling. Rather than simply tapping into an established utility network, as an electric car would through a nations energy grid, hydrogen powered cars would require the installation and construction of a whole new utility system based on a product that is relatively untested and questioned by the general public.
While the advancement of technology and innovation and acceptance to alternative fuels is paramount for the continued success of many of our planets vast societies, successful implementation and development in other forms of alternative fuel vehicles that use existing and already established power sources have been made, sold, and are on the road. Reports like these are indeed encouraging, after all this is a major step in a positive direction for an alternative fuel source. However, the needed infrastructure changes needed to power these vehicles is years away from reality.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.