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Daimler takes fuel-cell car on historic drive

daimler-f-carThis past weekend, Daimler took its F-CELL Roadster, a fuel cell-powered car, on a trip through Germany that covered part of the route taken by Bertha Benz during the first long-distance journey in the history of the automobile.

In August 1888, Bertha Benz and her two sons made a journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim in the Patent Motor Wagon designed by her husband Carl Benz.

Built by apprentices at the Mercedes-Benz plan in Sindelfingen, the F-CELL Roadster started its trip in Mannheim and ended at a chemist’s shop in Wiesloch, where Bertha Benz stopped to refuel during her historic trip.

“This trip by the F-CELL Roadster is symbolic of the current change taking place in automobile engineering,” said Thomas Weber, the member of the Daimler AG Executive Board responsible for corporate research and development at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “At that time Bertha Benz was not yet able to purchase the petrol she needed at a filling station, and for emission-free mobility we are also dependent on the widespread distribution of fuels for the future — electric power and hydrogen. But just as Bertha Benz refused to be discouraged by inconveniences in her day, we are just as determined to help ensure that these technologies achieve their breakthrough.”

Before the end of this year, Daimler expects to begin small-series production of a B-Class vehicle with a fuel cell drive system. The first models of the smart for two electric car are also set to leave the production line by the end of this year, and enter service in the “e-mobility Berlin” project early next year.

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