Hydrogen fuel cells come to Mercedes-Benz factoryJuly 19, 2012
Automaker purchases 72 Plug Power GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells
Plug Power, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has announced that Mercedes-Benz U.S. has purchased 72 of its GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells. These fuel cells will be put to use at one of Mercedes-Benz’s factories in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The automaker’s Hyster line of electric forklifts will make use of the fuel cells. The initiative suggests that hydrogen fuel continues to gain traction in the materials handling space, as well as with the auto industry, which has long been a strong advocate for hydrogen fuel cells.
Mercedes-Benz continues to show keen interest in hydrogen fuel cells
Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to hydrogen fuel cells. The automaker was among the first in its industry to show a great deal of support for the alternative energy systems. Last year, the automaker launched a world tour of its hydrogen-powered F-Cell vehicle. The vehicles were taken through some of the harshest environments in the world, where they showed no signs of distress. The world tour was meant to show the viability of hydrogen fuel cells as a source of power for vehicles. Since the tour, many other automakers have emerged as supporters of hydrogen-powered transportation.
Fuel cells could help cut back on energy costs
Plug Power’s fuel cell will replace the traditional lead-acid batteries that have been used for several years. The fuel cells will be able to power the forklift trucks for several hours at a time and can be refueled in mere minutes. The use of the fuel cells is expected to save Mercedes-Benz money in terms of energy as well as bring more efficiency to its factory in Tuscaloosa. Plug Power’s GenDrive fuel cells have a total runtime of more than 6.5 million hours over the entirety of the company’s customers.
Fuel cells beginning to expand beyond the auto industry
Automakers may be looking to make use of hydrogen fuel cells beyond the vehicles they are making to run on the fuel. Fuel cells have long been a popular option in the industrial field, where large amounts of energy are required in order to keep operations running efficiently.
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