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A Mercedes-Benz hydrogen SUV or sedan in the works

A couple of years after Mercedes-Benz launches the second-generation F-Cell in 2014, it will launch a larger sedan or SUV based on an existing model.

Actress Diane Kruger with the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL.

The hydrogen highway is still unrealized, but when it comes, Mercedes-Benz is planning a lineup of fuel cell vehicles to ride it.

The auto manufacturer plans to release two new hydrogen vehicles in the next few years, according to an Automotive News article. Mercedes-Benz currently leases an F-Cell hydrogen-fueled vehicle based on the compact B-Class model in a handful of states. The F-Cell has a 240-mile driving range, emits only water vapor when driven, and can be leased for $849 per month.

To date, the company has leased approximately 35 F-Cells in Southern California where the lion's share of hydrogen fueling stations are being built, and plans to put another couple dozen hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road by the end of the year. California is expected to have 46 hydrogen refueling stations built by 2014.

By the time the two-year leases are up in 2014, there should be a second-generation F-Cell vehicle on the market. The next-gen F-Cell will also be based on the B-Class, but will include additional options and upgraded telematics systems.

In addition to the F-Cell, Mercedes-Benz has a larger fuel-cell vehicle in the pipeline. The company hasn't decided if that larger car will be a sedan or SUV, but says it will be based on an existing model that's larger than the C-class platform. The Canadian-built fuel cell stacks that will propel these upcoming cars are suited to power B-Class and the larger E-Class vehicles, according to an article in The larger hydrogen-fueled car is expected to debut a couple of years after the second-generation F-Cell in 2014.

(Source: Automotive News)