Singapore — Cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells performed better than expected during a two-year test in Singapore, but the vehicles are not likely to be commercially viable until 2015, DaimlerChrysler said Wednesday.
Six Mercedes-Benz A-class subcompact cars clocked an average of 22,500 km and 750 hours each in the test, which started in 2004. One clocked more than 1,000 hours at the end of two years.
“That’s better than our expectations of 600 hours,” Christian Mohrdieck, DaimlerChrysler’s director of fuel-cell drive systems development, told The Straits Times.
The trial in the city-state will be extended for another year.
The second phase will test the limits of the fuel-cell stack, Mohrdieck told the newspaper, referring to the heart of the car which combines hydrogen in its tank with oxygen in the air to produce the electricity that powers the motor.
The cars, which emit water from their tailpipes, currently cost at least 10 times as much as conventional vehicles of the same size.