Mercedes-Benz Opens Fuel Cell Production Facility in Canada

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Mercedes-Benz has decided to open up a new fuel cell production facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver is the site of one leg of the current British Columbia Hydrogen Highway system. In the future, it is also supposed to be part of the West Coast Hydrogen Highway system that will run all the way down to San Diego, California.

Daimler is currently testing a number of Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL cars in California. By 2012, Daimler expects to be leasing 70 of these serial production vehicles to consumers in the Golden State. The fuel cell for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL along with the Citaro FuelCell Hybrid city bus was developed in Vancouver, Canada.

According to Daimler, “Construction of a facility designed for the production of stacks for fuel cell vehicles will begin immediately in a 2000 square meter space in a new Burnaby location. Completion of the production facilities is scheduled for early 2012.

Following a graduated test and commissioning phase, small-series production of next-generation fuel cell stacks will commence as of 2013. Apart from delivering a higher output and efficiency, these fuel cell stacks excel with their compact construction. This next generation fuel cell stack will also be suitable for use in sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class.”

This is yet another piece of evidence that the car manufacturers are plunging ahead with the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in spite of the apparent lack of government support in building infrastructure to support the vehicles. Los Angeles and several cities in Germany will be the early market testing grounds for consumer acceptance of such vehicles.

As the Mercedes FCV’s seem to be one of the most popular cars for the ride and drives I’ve been to in the Los Angeles area, it’s no wonder the German automaker is betting on early market acceptance of its vehicle on the West Coast.