Mercedes-Benz has sold a total of 36 hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles, the B-Class F-Cell, in the California marketplace. The automaker said the vehicle has as range of 240 miles and gets an average 55 mpg equivalent while emitting only water vapor.
Despite a limited number of hydrogen fueling stations in California, a few more have opened, with stations open in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, making offering the vehicle there somewhat more practical for the automakers focusing on fuel cell technology. The automaker’s most recent announcement detailed a sale to actress Diane Kruger (pictured above).
Mercedes isn’t alone in the hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle marketplace, for example Honda has its FCX Clarity (of which it plans to produce a total of 200 over the next three years), and General Motors recently launched a test fleet its own fuel cell vehicles in the U.S.. These vehicles are still hardly mainstream methods of transportation given their numbers, though.
As for progress, the cost of fuel cell technology has dropped significantly over the last few years. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost per kilowatt of energy was $248/kw in 2002. In 2009, the cost had fallen to $51/kw.
In addition to the F-CELL, Mercedes said it offers eight alternative fuel vehicles in the U.S., including the all-new 2012 M-Class BlueTEC SUV and S400 hybrid.