Daimler AG has gone on the record as saying that while producing a fuel cell vehicle for under $50,000 by 2015, is difficult, it is still possible.
Herbert Kohler, in-charge of the company’s future mobility and e-drive programs, believes that the cost of fuel cell vehicles will decline rapidly in future years as the technology becomes more widespread.
During an interview with trade publication Automotive News, he said “by 2015, we think a fuel cell car will not cost more than a four-cylinder diesel hybrid that meets Euro 6 emissions standards.” He also stated that Daimler wants to bring at least a four digit number of fuel cell vehicles to market by 2014.
Ambitious? Perhaps, but he also expects fuel cell vehicles to be more affordable than rival battery powered cars over the next five years. At present, US customers can already lease a fuel cell vehicle from Daimler, in the shape of the Mercedes B-class Blue Efficiency, at a rate of $849 a month plus tax.
However Kohler says that a second generation version of this car, due to be launched around 2013; will likely be cheaper as fuel cell technology becomes more cost effective.
Additional fuel cell Mercedes models, based on the A, C and even the E-class could also be on the roads by mid-decade and provided the company can spread the development costs over a wide range of models, could become the next practical solution in alternative fuel motoring. We’ll keep you posted of any further developments.