Mercedes-Benz reveals compact EQA concept at Frankfurt

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA

Head honcho at Mercedes cars, Dr Dieter Zetsche says that the Concept EQA 'proves that we are serious about introducing electric mobility throughout the portfolio'. With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a range of up to 437 km or about 280 miles in the NEDC.

The new GLC F-Cell needs 1.5 hours to recharge spent batteries and just minutes for the hydrogen fuel cells.

Two electric motors provide drive, developing around 270PS while the range is expected to be 250 miles. There are no changes made to the overall look of the GLC except for the F-Cell badges and blue accents.

The GLC F-Cell's advantage is that it can be charged at home or public charging stations for around-town use, providing a backup if hydrogen-fueling infrastructure is sparse in a particular region.

Out of all the Mercedes models present at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, the EQA concept is quite possibly the most significant.

The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA might have an innovative electric powertrain and some cool AWD control for varied driving conditions, but it's the headlamps that really grab the attention. It's also more efficient than inside the B-Class fuel cell - 30 percent smaller, 40 percent more powerful and makes use of 90 percent less platinum. There's a Sport mode for faster driving and a Charge mode that uses all of its regenerative braking capacity and its fuel cell to recharge the lithium-ion battery.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA
Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA Derek McNaughton Driving

While finding almost 5kg of hydrogen isn't now straightforward for city dwellers, the GLC F-Cell will recharge its lithium-ion battery in about 1.5 hours from a 7.2kW on-board charger.

Mercedes-Benz claims the only compromises in packaging over the standard GLC is a slightly higher luggage compartment floor (in line with that of the GLC350e 4Matic plug-in hybrid) and a higher-set rear seat, due to the positioning of the larger of the two hydrogen tanks.

A dedicated F-Cell mode keeps the battery's charge high and runs the auto on its fuel cell nearly entirely, while the Battery mode does the opposite and runs as a pure BEV.

Sharp-eyed Mercedes buffs may notice that regular controller wheel for the infotainment system has been replaced by a multifunction touchpad with handwriting recognition that works much like the screen of a smartphone.

The GLC F-Cell features all of the driving and safety technologies available in Mercedes line-up.

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