Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL vehicles make their Canadian premiere in Vancouver

Mercedes-Benz Canada is presenting its "cars of tomorrow" at two special exhibition sites in Vancouver. This is the first time these world-leading Mercedes-Benz B-Class fuel cell vehicles have been seen in Canada. (CNW Group/Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.)

TORONTO, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - Mercedes-Benz Canada is presenting its "cars of tomorrow" at two special exhibition sites in Vancouver. This is the first time these zero-emission vehicles have been seen in Canada.

These world-leading Mercedes-Benz B-Class fuel cell vehicles can be found on display at the Oakridge Mall and at the Edgewater Casino located in downtown Vancouver. In addition, keep your eyes on the road as two other Mercedes-Benz F-CELL vehicles will be touring the streets of Vancouver with nothing but water vapour being emitted from the tailpipe.

With a leading edge design and the most advanced fuel cell technology, the new 2010 B-Class F-CELL from Mercedes-Benz is the first production fuel cell electric car on the road today. The first of 200 vehicles produced will be placed with customers beginning in the spring of 2010.

"As the inventor of the automobile, we now must be leaders in emissions-free driving," said Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. "Our customers demand the very best from Mercedes-Benz, and we are proud to deliver world-leading fuel cell technology that was developed right here in Canada. The technology for the B-Class F-CELL drive system is based on the optimized latest-generation fuel cell stack developed by Vancouver-based AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation."

This advanced system is 40 percent smaller than the previous generation A-Class F-CELL, yet it develops 30 percent more power while consuming 30 percent less fuel. Compared to its predecessor, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL also excels with major technological advancements - it is considerably superior in terms of driving performance, longevity, operating range, and efficiency, and it has cold-starting ability at temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius.

Featuring the Mercedes-Benz Concept BlueZERO modular design concept for its future electric vehicle program, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL houses the key drive components in the sandwich floor in a crash-resistant configuration. These vehicles offer all of the attributes that customers expect of today's vehicles, including fast acceleration, high power density, full cargo capacity, low operational costs, fast refueling, and a range of over 400 kilometres.

A cutaway of the Mercedes-Benz F 600 HYGENIUS research car is also on display at the Edgewater Casino. Powered by a 115 hp zero-emission fuel cell drive, the compact family car consumes the equivalent of just 2.9 litres per 100 kilometres. Energy that is not required for driving the car is stored in a high-performance lithium-ion battery, so it operates similar to a hybrid drive system and uses the source of energy which is best-suited to any given driving situation. The generous amount of energy made available by the fuel cell can also be used for the well-being of passengers in the F 600 HYGENIUS. The cup holders, for instance, cool or heat beverages with electricity generated by the environment-friendly unit.

"Mercedes-Benz fuel cell test vehicles have travelled over 4.5 million test kilometres up to now. Fuel cell technologies offer customers conveniences similar to today's internal combustion engines, but address growing mobility concerns such as climate change, increased vehicle usage in developing countries, and independence from oil," said Andreas Truckenbrodt, CEO of AFCC. "As we move towards a low-carbon future, Mercedes-Benz is also actively supporting the establishment of a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure for the supply of fuel cell vehicles by working closely with energy companies and governments."

About Mercedes-Benz Canada

Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the four brands within the Mercedes-Benz Group in Canada: Mercedes-Benz, smart, AMG, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,250 people in 19 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 14 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 26,942 vehicles in 2009, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.

About AFCC

Established in February 2008, AFCC is the automotive fuel cell centre of excellence for Daimler and Ford, and is responsible for research, product development and manufacturing development of its automotive fuel cell technologies. To date, AFCC technology has powered over 150 fuel cell vehicles.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

For further information: JoAnne Caza, (416) 847-7550, joanne.caza@mercedes-benz.ca; Michael Minielly, (416) 847-7509, michael.minielly@mercedes-benz.ca; Further information from Mercedes-Benz is available on the internet at: www.media.mercedes-benz.ca