Daimler announced that its 30,000 km F-Cell World Drive had finished on schedule outside the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, where it began in late January this year. The World Drive was the world’s first round-the-world drive with fuel cell vehicles, crossing through fourteen countries on four continents. Collectively, the three cars have covered more than 90,000 km with zero emissions. Supported by mobile hydrogen refuelling from the Linde Group, the project aimed to demonstrate both the maturity and commercial readiness of the technology, and the need for a global hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

As Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche comments, “With the F-Cell World Drive we have shown that the time for electric vehicles with fuel cell[s] has come. Now the development of the infrastructure has to pick up speed”.

Hydrogen infrastructure challenge

Within the scope of the F-CELL World Drive, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL was functioning as an ambassador for a new, zero-emissions auto-mobility of the future. At the same time, Mercedes-Benz was lobbying extensively for the establishment of a comprehensive network of hydrogen fueling stations – a crucial factor for the market success of this technology. So far, there are only approximately 200 fuel stations worldwide at which fuel cell vehicles can be refueled. According to expert calculations, a network of around 1,000 fixed fuel stations would be sufficient for basic nationwide coverage in Germany. A central aim of Mercedes-Benz is to see to it that, in future, drivers all over the world will be able to refuel with hydrogen – just as they do today with gasoline and diesel fuel.

The exclusive partner for hydrogen supply on the F-CELL World Drive was the Linde Group. Thanks to its hydrogen expertise and global presence, it was able to guarantee fuel supply throughout the entire world trip. A jointly developed mobile refueling unit based on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter accompanied the tour – the only way to ensure fuel supply even on the most remote stretches.


Source: Fuel Cell Today, FuelCellWorks