DaimlerChrysler Tests Fuel Cell Van with Hermes Versand Service

July 31, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

DaimlerChrysler (Germany) is teaming up with Hermes Versand Service (Germany) to run a two-year field test on a fuel cell vehicle to see how a modified Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and its alternative drive system can cope with everyday operating conditions. In an intial test phase, the van will go into operation in the Stuttgart metropolitan area before transferring to Hamburg.

The new prototype has front-wheel drive and uses gaseous hydrogen as fuel. Running fleets of vans from central depots offers ideal operating conditions for this type of fuel cell vehicle. With an output of 55kW, the modified Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a zero-emission vehicle. It can achieve a top speed of 120km an hour and has a range of over 150km.

Dr. Rolf Bartke, head of the Mercedes-Benz vans business unit at DaimlerChrysler, stated, "Fuel cell technology provides us with a highly promising, environmentally compatible drive concept for the future. That’s why DaimlerChrysler is not only securing know-how in this field but also collaborating with selected customers in order to accelerate the development of practical applications. As an environmentally friendly and low-noise vehicle, this Mercedes-Benz Sprinter represents the future for innovative delivery companies of the 21st century. With such projects, DaimlerChrysler is offering its customers the opportunity to play a pioneering role and gather early experience with an innovative technology.”