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Mercedes-Benz EQC. Image courtesy of Mercedes.

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Mercedes-Benz Is Done Chasing The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Dream

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz is killing its hydrogen car development due to high costs of the technology. Daimler has been working on fuel-cell vehicles for almost as long as I have been alive in hopes of creating a zero-emissions vehicle with the perfect amount of range.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz is killing its hydrogen car program due to high costs of the technology and lack of market interest. Daimler has been working on fuel-cell vehicles for almost as long as I have been alive in hopes of creating a zero-emissions vehicle with the perfect amount of range. It seems like a beautiful idea, but, sadly, the company is admitting defeat, and that’s okay.

Fully battery electric won. Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz/Daimler.

Mercedes-Benz has already developed passenger vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells and has one on the market, the GKC F-Cell, but the cost is just too much — double of what it takes to make a battery-electric vehicle with similar (or better) specs. The company will slowly bring production of the GKC F-Cell to a halt. The GKC F-Cell was actually developed back in 2013 in partnership with Nissan and Ford. Markus Schäfer of Mercedes-Benz has previously stated that, “Fuel cells work great. It’s just a cost issue, and it’s all about scaling. We need volume.” Many writers and readers at CleanTechnica have been saying that for several years, but it’s another step forward to have such a big proponent of the tech admit that and move on.

This doesn’t mean that Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, is completely done with fuel cells, though. As we reported yesterday, Daimler Truck and Volvo Group are joining forces to focus on fuel-cell technology for heavy-duty trucking. The two firms will still be competitors, yet are working together in hopes of reducing costs for this technology. The two companies said that they set up a 50/50 joint venture that is looking to “develop, produce, and commercialize fuel-cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other use cases.”

“By forming this joint venture, we are clearly showing that we believe in hydrogen fuel cells for commercial vehicles,” says Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President and CEO.

Perhaps this, rather than personal vehicles, is where hydrogen can shine. This is where energy density advantages can provide more benefit, and scale of use could lead to fueling stations being put in the right places and utilized enough. Maybe.

Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz/Daimler.

 
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Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

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