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May 14: Mercedes-Benz reinvented the car on this date in 1996

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May 14: Mercedes-Benz reinvented the car on this date in 1996

Seventeen years ago in Berlin — on May 14, 1996 — Mercedes-Benz introduced the world's first viable fuel-cell vehicle. The NECAR 2, a six-passenger V-Class van with a 150-mile range and a top speed of 65 mph, emitted only water vapor. The fuel cell system was located under the rear seat, with two hydrogen tanks on the roof to maximize passenger space. Sadly, the world is still a long way from having a viable hydrogen infrastructure to power the greenest of vehicles.