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Daimler focuses on battery EVs, keeps hand in fuel cells

Although the industry has predominantly moved its focus towards electric vehicles powered by lithium ion batteries, the German superpower, Daimler are not giving up on hydrogen fuel cell technology by keeping it in development.

We look back to last year when Daimler introduced the preproduction Mercedez-Benz GLC F-Cell crossover at the Frankfurt Auto show. It combines the hydrogen fuel cell with battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid which got the majority of is range from the fuel cell.

The question on everyone’s mind is, why? Why would Daimler invest money in fuel cells when they have stated they expect battery electrics to account for 25% of global sales by 2025?

“We will scale, in terms of going into tens and hundreds of thousands of production, the battery-electric vehicles first,” Ola Kaellenius, Daimler board member in charge of R&D, said at the Detroit auto show. “But we will keep the fuel cell in development, so we have this technological option should there be a shift in the market in this direction.”

Hydrogen fuel cells are potentially a very interesting technology for the future, especially in a large vehicle, the reason being, they have a much greater energy density than battery electric vehicles.