Keen to bring future key technologies inhouse, Mercedes-Benz will start producing its own fuel cell stacks in Vancouver from 2013.
The premium car maker, the core division of Germany’s Daimler group, said construction is starting immediately on a 2000 square meter facility that is cheduled for completion in 2012.
“To consolidate our leading position in the field of alternative drive systems, we are ensuring direct access to the key technologies involved,” Herbert Kohler, head of Mercedes’ e-Drive and Future Mobility, said in a statement.
Mercedes said the decision to start producing its own fuel cell stacks was a logical step after its three-year-old fuel-cell cooperation in Vancouver.
In February 2008, Daimler, Ford and Ballard founded the “Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation” (AFCC) in Burnaby, east of Vancouver. The three jointly developed the fuel cell now used in the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCell Hybrid city bus.
Daimler hopes to start producing its next-generation fuel cell stacks in Vancouver in 2013. These will deliver higher output and efficiency and will be smaller in size. They will be suitable for the Mercedes C- and E-Class.
Three B-Class F-CELL models are currently on a 30,000 km tour around the world to “demonstrate the high technical maturity of fuel cell technology,” Mercedes said.
The tour is also intended as an appeal to step up the global implementation of a fuel-cell infrastructure, Mercedes said.