Mercedes-Benz Vans is enhancing their electric mobility portfolio and present a study in hydrogen transport. The Concept Sprinter F-CELL builds on their bestselling van and adds a fuel cell system as a showcase for new commercial applications, a motorhome for now.
Particularly the long range potential of hydrogen-powered vehicles drove Mercedes to add a fuel cell system to the Sprinter. As a first concept, Sprinter F-Cell takes the form of a motorhome. It is to complement their existing range of electrified vehicles that also includes the eVito and eSprinter.
Mercedes plans to offer “every commercial range with an electric drive – starting this year with the eVito and in 2019 with the eSprinter,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. He adds: “We are enhancing our eDrive@VANs strategy with fuel-cell drive, which offers substantial medium-term opportunities, especially in long-distance operation, regardless of whether a fuel-cell vehicle is used as a motorhome or in other commercial applications.”
The Concept Sprinter F-CELL delivers an electric output of around 147 kW and torque of 350 Nm. Three tanks in the substructure can store a total of 4.5 kilograms of hydrogen, enough for a range of around 300 kilometres. If a longer range is required for a specific use, another tank can be added in the rear of the fuel cell vehicle for a range of up to 500 kilometres.
Like the GLC F-CELL, the Concept Sprinter F-CELL also combines fuel cell and battery technology to create a plug-in hybrid. This means it can also run on electricity, raising the range by up to 30 kilometres.
The motorhome Sprinter comes with an independent energy supply for the appliances. The structure of the rear-wheel drive and a comparably low system weight allows adding different bodies and conversions though for commercial use with higher payload.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes eSprinter and eVito vehicles have managed their first rounds of real-life testing at selected clients. Daimler says they have proven their worth in urban environments and large orders from both Hermes and Amazon complement that image.