spacer.png, 0 kB

Our Newsletter







spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Mercedes-Benz F600 HYgenius
Mercedes-Benz F600 HYgenius PDF Print E-mail

Mercedes-Benz F600 HYgeniusMercedes-Benz has long been touting its fuel-cell technology but it appears that as the years roll by this eminently clean power source is as far away as it always was.  The F600 HYgenius concept however, exhibited at last month’s Tokyo show, is a successful combination of a powerful lithium-ion battery, a hydrogen tank and a high-torque electric motor integrated into the rear axle casing.  As well as providing clean energy, the F600 offers innovative features such as powered cup holders that can keep drinks hot or cold, and an external source that can provide mobile energy anywhere.  You can operate a television or stereo on a picnic for instance.

Launched with just a touch of theatre, new Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche sat at the back of a string ensemble, playing the violin.  It seems that in a former life, Herr Zetsche was in fact a first violin in a youth orchestra.  Not many car czars can claim that.

The F600 can deliver up to 115 bhp (85 kW) from its on-board battery and fuel cell combined.  The system acts like a hybrid, selecting the most appropriate power source according to the conditions.  When parking the electric motor is powered solely by the battery, but both battery and fuel cell are used during acceleration.  In addition, again just like a hybrid, the F600 utilizes regenerative braking to charge the battery under deceleration.  All this sophisticated technology and its components are housed beneath the floor and do not intrude into passenger space.

As a mobile power source the fuel cell can produce 66 kW of electricity; sufficient to light several detached houses and certainly enough to operate electrical appliances away from home.  All that is necessary is to connect any device to a power socket housed in the tailgate.

Mercedes-Benz F600 HYgeniusAs well as its advanced power technology, there are various other innovative ideas within the F600.  The seats, for instance: the front passenger seat and the rear individual seats incorporate a system where the backrests can be used either way round,  This means that Isofix child seats can be fitted facing rearwards for additional protection.  In addition, the driver’s seat features a two-piece backrest that adjusts for height, width and rake by means of electric motors.

The tailgate is a two-piece design with optional opening features: if space is at a premium, at the press of a switch the lower part of the tailgate hinges inwards.  The front doors are similarly designed with practical considerations in mind.  A newly-designed hinge swings the doors upwards at a slant minimizing the space needed in tight confines.  Gas-filled struts hold the doors open in any position.

Despite all these new ideas, it is clearly the fuel-cell concept that is the most important technology within the F600 HYgenius.  It has been 11 years since Mercedes-Benz introduced the world’s first fuel cell powered vehicle.  Launched amid much skepticism in 1994, the NECAR (New Electric Car) was essentially a small minivan packed with  800 kg of complex componentry that comprised the fuel cell power plant.  Top speed was a modest 90 km/h and its operating range just 130 kilometers. Today, DaimlerChrysler has over 100 fuel-cell models operating around the world, many of them in bus fleets, and while many are still in the experimental stage, it is hoped that this ‘clean technology’ will be available for volume production vehicles in the not too distant future.

At the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento, which comprises members as diverse as BP, Volkswagen, United Technologies and the US Department of Energy, research is being conducted on an increasing number of test vehicles.  By 2007 the partnership aims to have over 300 fuel cell vehicles on the roads of California; currently there are just 37.

-JH 

 

 
spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
spacer.png, 0 kB