Thursday, July 25

Who Knows Fuel Cells Better?

2016 Chevrolet Bolt

Whenever we have new technology on the market in the automotive world we are quick to find many who try to mimic this tech and build something that is better or more advanced.  This has been the case throughout history, not only in the automotive industry, but across all industry.  Currently the Tesla models show us a version of the fuel cell that we have not come across before.  Not only did they perfect the actual fuel cell to such a point of dispelling any need for a gasoline backup (which really could be useful) but they used the fuel cell to balance out the weight of the vehicles by using the whole floorboard for the system.

Currently the balance in the floor gives the Tesla a low center of gravity to make it well weighted and firm.  Even though the Tesla models can only go up to 200 miles on a single charge those that purchase them seem to love driving the highly acclaimed and ultra-luxurious EV models.  As the leader in this technology Tesla shows itself as a pioneer in the industry and set a bar high for others to follow and mimic.

This mimicking is coming heavily from the likes of both BMW and Mercedes-Benz.  BMW has already come through with the i3 and i8, but both are backed by a gasoline powered backup system.  Thus far Mercedes- Benz has offered the same, but states they are going to be able to present an EV version that will have a range of up to 311 miles.  This intelligent concept is fully expected to outdo the Tesla models and be the next great offering featured by Mercedes-Benz.  Not only will M-B expect to show off better than the Tesla versions, but they will use a similar concept and have the power cells located in the floor of the vehicle.

This response is not just a response to Tesla, but a serious increase by the company to offer models that have an EV in the lineup.  So far nearly half of the $6.4 billion Diamler has invested in research and design has gone into the development of fuel cell and hydrogen cell vehicles in an effort to find more ways to use renewable fuels to power vehicles.  With this research and development, Mercedes-Benz fully expects to be able to offer at least ten new plug-in hybrid models by 2017.

Will Mercedes-Benz catch Tesla; will it be a game of leapfrog where we see brand come out with better ranges each year; that else will be in the EV market with a long range car to give us the electric power plant we desire?  With the Tesla models already on the street and the Chevrolet Bolt on its way this news from Mercedes- Benz gives us the thought that there will certainly be more EV models brought to market each year going forward, eventually offering cars that will rival the gasoline engines with the range that can be enjoyed.

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