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DaimlerChrysler Unveils New Fuel Cell Vehicle in Geneva

DaimlerChrysler Unveils New Fuel Cell Vehicle in Geneva
 by: Jenny McLane

The next generation of fuel cell technology was unveiled at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show by DaimlerChrysler, the pioneer of fuel cell drive. Sports tourers are now the new members of the family of fuel cell vehicles with the Mercedes Benz B-Class sporting the enw F-Cell. This F-Cell's unique sandwich concept developed by Mercedes Benz is perfect for this type of drive unit.

The fuel cell's emission free operation is congruous with sporty, dynamic driving. the technical data proves this fact: the high-torque electric motor will develop more than 100 kW -- 35 kW more power than its predecessor generation. And because the fuel cell reduces fuel consumption and further enhances storage capacity, the operating range has now been increased to almost 250 miles (400 km). Also, component reliability and longevity has been enhanced.

"With this car, we are continuing our highly successful practical tests on an even larger scale," said Dr. Thomas Weber, member of DaimlerChrysler's Board of Management with responsibility for Research and Technology and for the development of the Mercedes Car Group.

Since 1990, DaimlerChrysler engineers and researchers have been working on the automotive application of the fuel cell technology. The first fuel cell vehicle, the NECAR 1 was introduced in 1994. More than 20 other research vehicles and prototypes have since been presented. The performance and reliability have been steadily enhanced while the size and weight of the drive system have been reduced. This new Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell is another significant milestone along the road to market maturity for the fuel cell.

In 2003, DaimlerChrysler launched the world's most extensive series practical tests for the fuel cell in cars, vans and regular service buses. There are now more than a hundred fuel cell vehicles that are currently in everyday application. These fuel-cell vehicles provide DaimlerChrysler engineers with vital information for the development of this future oriented technology. This encompasses optimization of the vehicles and their components, the establishment of an infrastructure, and the increased acceptance of hydrogen technology among drivers and passengers.

Elsewhere in the world, fuel cell technology continues to flourish. Since 2003, there have been 30 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses with fuel cell drive that are now on regular route service in ten major European cities. Three buses are now in operation in Perth, Australia and in Beijing, China. These vehicles must prove their worth in the most varied of climactic conditions. On average, these buses have now covered more than 300,000 miles (500,000 km) and transported more than two million passengers, who have been convinced by the advantages of this quiet, emission-free technology. There are also several fuel cell-powered Sprinter vans that are currently used in delivery operations in Germany and the United States.

Since late 2004, 60 Mercedes-Benz F-Cell's have been operating in the United States, Germany, Japan, and Singapore. Approximately 190,000 miles (300,000 km) have now been covered in this first test phase under highly diverse conditions and documented with these vehicles. In the long term, the fuel cell provides the best opportunities for securing uncompromisingly environment-friendly mobility for the automobile: the fuel cell runs on either pure hydrogen or hydrogen media, and is thus a genuine zero-emission power unit: electrical energy is released in a chemical reaction between the hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to drive an electric motor.

Moreover, the fuel cell has an efficiency factor approximately twice that of the internal combustion engine. In order to focus expertise and resources, and to press ahead with the development of the fuel cell, DaimlerChrysler has entered into a strategic alliance with Ford Motor Company and the fuel cell specialist Ballard Power Systems. Partnerships are an important part of fuel cell technology development.

The fuel cell is the key technology for emission-free driving of the future and is the long-term objective of DaimlerChrysler's five-stage Energy for the Future roadmap. DaimlerChrysler is continuing to optimize the internal combustion engine, since the potential of gasoline and diesel engines has by no means been exhausted. The aim is to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, while at the same time enhancing driving pleasure, power development and comfort. DaimlerChrysler is also committed to optimizing fuel quality worldwide and is supporting the fuel evolution from crude oil to largely CO2-neutral fuels derived from biomass. Hybrid drive is a significant interim solution along the road to emission-free mobility with the fuel cell.

As the pioneer in fuel cell technology, Chrysler continues to innovate and create better and more future-oriented automobiles that are proof of the company's stamp of excellence in the automotive industry. Fuel cell technology will definitely enhance the entire driving experience and will improve the operation and maintenance of these vehicles. Meanwhile, one of the best ways to maintain the quality of a vehicle is by replacing worn out and outdated parts with new ones. By doing this, a Chrysler auto acquires a new life with excellent quality parts.

These parts are available in many online stores that make shopping easier and faster. One such reliable and reputable online site is Auto Parts Train, one of the leading online auto parts stores to day. Check out some of their Chrysler parts offerings in their easy-to-use and very secure site: http://www.partstrain.com/ShopByVehicle/CHRYSLER. All Chrysler parts that Parts Train offers is guaranteed excellent quality and very low priced too.

About The Author

Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.