Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell new double-way electric hybrid plug-in hybrid
By: Fedora Atjeh | September 13, 2017
The Frankfurt Motor Show will go down in history as one of the turning points in the automotive industry towards clean energy. Within this context comes the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell, an SUV that will earn its place among cars respectful to the environment.
And it is not a trivial statement, because it is a vehicle that is postulated as the first hybrid between the traditional plug-in electric motorization and the fuel cell. Combining electric power in traditional mode with the vanguard of the hydrogen engine results in a hybridization never before seen in the market and that has taken more than two years of development to the German mark.
EQ Power: doubly electric
This new ecofriendly SUV is housed under the acronym CASE that determine the main features of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz models from here until 2022. Cars that will respond to clear guidelines: connected, self-contained, shared and electric services.
Mercedes-Benz has been developing an independent hydrogen technology for years and the F-Cell GLC is the result of their experience. Precisely this type of technology is one of the pillars on which Daimler wants to settle its future and to achieve it has developed a compact hydrogen engine but with good capabilities.
Both the hydrogen storage unit and the engine have been developed by NuCellSys, Daimler's subsidiary, although the technology used is the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC), a joint venture with Ford for the development of this specific technology
This new generation takes the fuel cell technology applied in the Class B F-Cell that has been on the market since 2010 and the improvement to achieve a similar consumption but with a 40% more energy production and a size 30% lower , and can be completely housed under the hood and even using the same anchor points to the chassis as in the thermal engines. In addition, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90% in order to have a lower production cost without compromising neither the performance nor the environment.
In fact, the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell is a pre-production car that anticipates the imminent final version, and already in this configuration equips two tanks of 700 bars with carcasses of carbon fiber with capacity to hold a total of 4.4 kg of hydrogen, sufficient according to the mark to travel autonomously 437 km (according to cycle NDEC). The recharge time in a hydrogenerate is estimated to be around three minutes.
Intelligently combining these technologies with plug-in hybrids we get a result capable of dealing with zero emissions to day-to-day day-to-day movements and with the possibility of facing long road trips without refueling. The best thing is that when it comes to stopping to 'fuel', hydrogen greatly shortens recharge times.
The purely electric section, in the style of traditional plug-in hybrids, can travel an extra 49 km thanks to the energy stored in a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 13.8 kWh. These batteries are recharged at the same time through the energy produced with the hydrogen, in motion with the regenerative measures or connecting it to a plug. The recharging time from 0% to 100% is 1.5 hours with 7.2 kW on board chargers.
These two contributions of energy result in the first double-electric car that will arrive imminently at the markets. Both sources feed an electric motor that produces 200 CV of power (147 kWh) and 350 Nm of torque that through the intelligent management determines, depending on the efficiency, where to take the energy necessary to achieve the movement.
The accommodation of the new components has been one of the biggest challenges for German engineers. The batteries have been placed under the floor of the trunk while for the hydrogen there are two tanks, one placed under the rear bench and the other disposed in a longitudinal position in the position that would occupy the now absent transmission shaft.
Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell is a car that meets the highest standards of quality and, above all, typical safety of the brand. All the components of the hybrid system have been tested to withstand in case of accident without danger, with up to 40 crash tests in multiple thermal scenarios.
This is how the F-Cell GLC works
The simple part we already know it. On the one hand the fuel cell extracts electricity from stored hydrogen by reacting it with oxygen, on the other hand it is a recharged / rechargeable battery that delivers electricity directly to the engine. The tricky thing is to make these two solutions work together and Mercedes-Benz has done so after analyzing 8.5 terabytes of data.
The electronics developed for this particular model uses a powerful digital brain that analyzes at every moment what use we are giving the vehicle to decide where it takes the energy destined for the engine, when to recharge the battery or how it makes the two systems work at the same time. without any impact on the comfort of the occupants
Within its operation, the fuel cell of Mercedes-Benz has several driving modes selectable by the driver: Eco that emphasizes a low consumption, Comfort that maintains a linear performance of the engine and the air conditioning and Sport that optimizes the hybrid train to get the most out of the mechanics.
On the other hand, you can also choose four operating modes :
- Hybrid: The system draws energy from both sources in a combined way. The maximum power draws from the battery while the hydrogen engine takes care of efficiency tasks.
- F-Cell: The high-voltage battery is maintained at a constant charge level using energy produced by the hydrogen engine.
- Battery: perfect for short trips, this mode keeps the hydrogen engine off unless the battery is to be terminated.
- Charge: This mode ensures that the battery is always charged for maximum autonomy in pure electric mode, in case we are short of hydrogen before refueling
Known by outside, innovative inside
Outwardly we will not find too many differences with respect to a normal GLC beyond the specific emblems, 20-inch aerodynamic wheels, electric blue inserts on the grille, rear bumper and lugs, specific bumpers on both ends and gray lines on the sides.
The suspensions will use conventional shock absorbers in the front axle and pneumatic suspension in the rear that adjusts automatically to compensate the excess of load on the rear axle at the same time that it minimizes the vibrations and it contributes a greater stability minimizing the movements of the body in curve
Inside the cabin uses a slightly higher rear seat to make room for the larger hydrogen tank and the finishes have changed with new open pore wood inserts and new shapes, as well as wool and linen upholstery.
The dashboard becomes fully digital with a configurable screen of 12.3 inches and a console with another screen of 10.25 inches in the center of the dashboard. The functionalities of the F-Cell GLC are managed through a new touch-screen multifunction touch-sensitive control that anticipates how the Mercedes-Benz interfaces will be for the new models. In addition, it will also have voice recognition Linguatronic and Comand Online.
The air conditioning is done just like in a conventional car, equipped with pre-air conditioning and heated seats and mirrors. When the heating system is to be thrown, the system can warm the passenger compartment by pulling the heat off the hydrogen battery to reduce electrical consumption.
On the other hand, this new model also includes the latest technologies of the brand premiered in the E-Class and more recently in the S-Class as the intelligent speed control Distronic, the Lane Maintenance Assistant, blind spot detector, parking camera 360º or signal recognition.