Burnaby, British Columbia is to be the location for a new Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility, which will produce electric vehicle fuel cell stacks.
The fuel cell technology has been flexibly designed with a compact construction to provide an array of vehicle applications along with higher output and efficiency.
"Fuel cell vehicles have a great potential for CO2 reduction over a wide range of mobility needs," said Prof Herbert Kohler, Head of E-Drive and Future Mobility and Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG.
This new facility contributes to an initiative that aims to encompass all levels of the value chain, from materials research and development to large-scale production. Construction of the manufacturing plant is due to commence immediately on a 2,000 square meter plot and is scheduled for completion in early 2012 in preparation for fuel cell stack production in 2013. Preceding mass production will be a series of graduated tests and a commissioning phase.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL model has been in production since 2009, with exports delivered across Europe and the USA. Three of these cars are currently undergoing a worldwide demonstration, travelling 30,000 kilometers across Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and Asia in order to demonstrate the "high-technical maturity of fuel cell technology". The journey also aims to highlight the importance of alternative fuels and appropriate infrastructure.
DLR German Aerospace Agency and Intelligent Energy separately are putting their fuel cells in aircraft nosewheels, unmanned pure electric aircraft, delivery vans. cars, motorcycles, taxis and forklifts. There is also potential for them to be used as range extenders in the Adam Opel hybrids and the Tesla Motors and Tata Motors Europe pure electric sports cars for example and earospace giant EADS is interested in using them for various purposes in aircraft. Indeed, recently ENFICA-FC in Italy has successfully flown a two seater pure electric aircraft with fuel cell power. Tara International currently has the world's lowest cost fully enclosed on-road car and this could have a longer range version based on a fuel cell we believe.
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Image source: Mercedes-Benz