Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e 4MATIC, EDITION 1, (X 253) 2015

The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class could very well be the first hydrogen fuel cell model that the (above) average consumer can buy from the German carmaker. However, don’t expect such a model to be ready soon as it could take up to two years before its realisation.

In an interview with Autocar UK, Mercedes-Benz head of research and development Thomas Weber said the company had considered the engineering factors for the new model. “We are targeting a combined range for the fuel cell and battery of up to 600 km, along with a refuelling time for the hydrogen tanks of three minutes,” Weber said.

Mercedes-Benz has had its foot in hydrogen powertrains for some time. Its F-Cell system has found its way into both the Mercedes-Benz A-Class as well as the B-Class in 2010. Various concepts have also received the hydrogen treatment, including the Vision G-Code and more recently, the Vision Tokyo.

B-Klasse F-Cell

The new commercially-available hydrogen model, meanwhile, is set to be named the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell. It’s said that the model is scheduled to be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, with prices rumoured to be around the 50,000 euro mark (RM230k).

Whether customers are allowed to purchase the vehicle outright, or are limited to just leasing them, remains to be seen. Currently, the GLC-Class is offered with a choice of a diesel, petrol, or petrol-hybrid powertrain.

However, the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell will come into this emerging market that is already occupied by the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. Even BMW have thrown their hat into the ring, although its hydrogen-powered model is not expected to be launched until after 2020.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class