Published March 21, 2012
Have you seen the Mercedez-Benz that runs on hydrogen?
The answer could be yes and no.
The German automaker has wrapped one of its F-Cell hydrogen fuel-cell powered cars with an “invisibility cloak” to highlight the small impact that it says the car has on the environment, as it emits only water vapor out of its exhaust.
To achieve the visual effect, one side of the F-Cell was covered with strips of LED lights to create a video display fed by images from cameras mounted on the other side, creating the illusion that you can see through the car, even when it’s moving. It’s a technology similar to that being tested for use on military vehicles.
The cloak reportedly cost about $250,000 to create and won’t be heading to showrooms anytime soon, but a small test fleet of the car underneath it is already on the road in Europe and California.
Essentially an electric car that replaces the heavy, slow to charge battery pack with a high-tech fuel cell that generates electricity through the chemical process of combining hydrogen and oxygen to create water, the F-Cell can be filled up from a hydrogen pump as quickly as a gasoline-powered car and has a range of 240 miles.
The F-Cell is available for lease only at a price of $850 per month, roughly the same as a $60,000 car would cost.