It may have taken the fictional character Phileas Fogg only 80 days, but the three Mercedes B-class F-cells will circumnavigate the globe in 125 days to honor the 125th anniversary of the patent Carl Benz filed for a patent in Stuttgart all those years ago.
The three Mercedes B-Class F-Cells, which are zero-emission fuel cell vehicles, left from Stuttgart today. The tires will hit the pavement on four continents as they transverse 14 countries. The trip ends right back where it started in Stuttgart.
Mercedes says this is more than a marketing tour. The German carmaker wants to see how the B-Class F-Cells handle day in and day out driving challenges as well as confirm “the technical maturity” of the fuel cells.
The tour will initially head south via Paris, Barcelona and Madrid, to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. There the cars will leave Europe and cross the Atlantic Ocean by cargo jet to the East Coast of the USA. Mercedes-Benz has its U.S. headquarters just outside of New York City in New Jersey.
But this time of year nobody goes to the Northeast if they don’t have to. The cars land in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and follow a southern route along the Gulf of Mexico, eventually ending up in Los Angeles before heading north to Vancouver.
Then it’s Adios to North America at roughly the one month and 4500-mile mark and G’day mate to Australia, where the vehicles cover about 3000 miles before saying goodbye to all that shrimp on the barbie for Shanghai in China.
Travelling via the Chinese capital of Beijing, the fuel cell cars will cover a distance of more than 10,000 kilometres across the continent of Eurasia, heading through the Kazakh cities of Almaty and Astana, to Moscow.
Then it’s back home through Northern Europe through Finland, Denmark and Norway before settling back into Germany. By this point, the three Mercedes B-class F-cells will have covered about 18,750 miles over 70 days of driving in the 125-day period. If they can survive that trip, they should be more than ready for the real world.
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