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Mercedes F-Cell World Drive gets off to an inauspicious start

Tim Stevens
Circling the globe on hydrogen power sounds like a bit of a challenge, what with the lack H2 pumps and all, but Mercedes-Benz set off to show that it could do just that -- with the help of a mobile filling station, natürlich. It's the F-Cell World Drive, and unfortunately, things got off to something of a bad start with two cars running out of fuel on the very first leg of the journey, one with Autoblog's Michael Harley at the wheel, no less. This first leg apparently began with a trip down an unrestricted bit of the Autobahn and, well, it seems the drivers of the cars decided to see what the little green B-Class F-Cells could do. The answer is 110mph, and of course moving along at this rate of speed did little for their range. The two cars came up 20km short of their first planned refueling stop, heavy right feet resulting in consumption of 1.5Kg of hydrogen per 100km distance -- roughly equivalent of 45mpg and way less than the 71mpg equivalent the cars usually manage. We're told day two, when drivers kept the speed to around 70mph, progressed much more smoothly, with both cars covering their expected legs without issue.