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Mercedes-Benz B-Class fuel-cell all hydrogen-powered vehicle test drive, impressions

Published Oct 11th, 2010 11:50AM EDT

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Mercedes-Benz is on an environmentally conscious tear as of late, launching two hybrid vehicles last year, and now an entirely zero emission fuel cell car this December. We were given an opportunity to test drive the new F-Cell vehicle in Manhattan and learn more about the car. For starters, when thinking about what Mercedes has done with this specific vehicle, it’s mind blowing in itself. A non-combustion engine car that is powered off of hydrogen with zero emissions. Did you ever think you’d see the day? As a car lover, just hopping into the driver’s seat of the F-Cell was an experience. Zipping around downtown New York City in the car was… just like driving a gas-powered vehicle, except, there was no noise. I’ve driven dual-mode hybrid cars before, and I have gotten used to not hearing an engine at some times, but no engine sound at all? Borderline ghostly. While the B-Class-based F-Cell has an all electric motor rated at 136 horsepower and 214 pounds of torque, it definitely didn’t feel underpowered. Plus, once we got over the sound of no sound from the engine, there wasn’t much to complain about. It’s the first fuel-cell car from Mercedes, and while it’s not exactly the most luxurious or stylish model in their lineup, neither is a Prius. Being powered 100% by hydrogen lends itself to one main issue: finding a hydrogen refueling station. Now, there are a couple around the NYC area (White Plains, NY, Wallingford, CT, Bronx, NY), but when the F-Cell touches down in December for consumer leasing, it’s going to be heading to the state of California — mostly Los Angeles and San Francisco where there are plenty of hydrogen stations. You might notice how we said leasing and not purchasing, and that’s because the car will only be offered by way of a lease, and while Mercedes wouldn’t confirm pricing information to us, we’ve heard it will run around $550-$750/month. Definitely on the higher end of the spectrum, but for a car that literally emits water instead of toxic sludge — representing the future of the automotive industry — all we can say is, sign us up.

Click on over to our Mercedes-Benz F-Cell vehicle gallery!

Jonathan S. Geller
Jonathan Geller Founder, President & Editor-in-chief

Jonathan S. Geller founded Boy Genius Report, now known as BGR, in 2006. It became the biggest mobile news destination in the world by the end of 2009, and BGR was acquired by leading digital media company PMC in April 2010.

Jonathan is President of BGR Media, LLC., and Editor-in-chief of the BGR website.

What started as a side project at the age of 16, quickly transpired into 24-hour days and nights of sharing exclusive and breaking news about the mobile communications industry. BGR now reaches up to 100 million readers a month through the website, syndication partners, and additional channels.