Emitting nothing but water vapor as it cruises around the city on hydrogen power rather than fossil fuels, it's no surprise that Mercedes-Benz' new B-Class F-CELL vehicle has attracted the attention of eco-conscious celebrities.
One of those green celebrities is actress Diane Kruger, known for her recent performance as Marie Antoinette in the film "Farewell, My Queen." Kruger has been spotted driving her F-CELL around the Los Angeles area.
"I'm excited to be driving the F-CELL. It's environmentally conscious, fun to drive and gets lots of attention on the streets," says Kruger. "I can travel more than 200 miles on a full tank and it's easy to refuel."
The vehicle hit the streets of Southern California in a limited release in May, and the car will be available to the rest of the country by the end of the year. Several hydrogen fueling stations are now open in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, including Newport Beach.
The B-Class F-CELL converts compressed hydrogen into electricity, and gets a range of about 240 miles per charge. The fuel efficiency rating is equivalent to an average of 55 miles per gallon.
The new F-CELL is based on the automaker's small, family focused standard B-Class vehicle. The fuel cell system uses a lithium-ion battery pack, and the hydrogen gas is stored in 10 tanks, all 150-psi, that can be refueled in just three minutes.
Hydrogen gas runs through a platinum-coated, proton-conducting membrane that generates electricity by turning the gas into water. This eliminates environmentally harmful emissions that contribute to climate change, producing nothing but water vapor. The electricity produced powers a 100-kilowatt AC induction electric motor, which propels the car.
Mercedes offers eight other alternative powertrain vehicles in the U.S., including the 2012 M-Class BlueTEC SUV and the S400 HYBRID, another popular choice among environmentally conscious Hollywood actors. The S400 HYBRID features an ECO start-stop function that turns off the gasoline engine when the car goes below nine miles per hour while braking to a stop. This gas-saving feature keeps the engine from running when it doesn't need to, such as at traffic lights, but keeps the AC compressor and steering pump fully operational.
Among the notable Hollywood names who have chosen Mercedes-Benz for eco-friendly transportation are Michelle Williams, winner of the Golden Globe for Best Actress; Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family"; Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad"; Natalie Portman, winner of the 2011 Academy Award for Best Actress; Courtney Cox and Renee Zellweger. Outside of Hollywood, tennis pro Serena Williams, Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher and "American Idol" alum Katharine McPhee are also owners of green Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Learn more about the F-CELL including leasing information at mbusadigitalmedia.com/fcellsurvey.