2022 Mercedes EQS 450 vs. S-Class: Is Charging Cheaper Than Refueling?

Mercedes EQS 450+ vs. Mercedes S-Class charging/fueling comparison highlights:

  • The 2022 Mercedes S-Class has a longer range than the 2022 EQS 450 thanks to its fuel tank, but the EQS is more efficient
  • Recharging the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 is significantly cheaper than refueling the S-Class
  • That cost difference varies based on location

Filling up a gas tank is still faster than recharging an electric vehicle, but EVs offer other energy-related advantages. Chief among them is how cheap electrical power is compared to fossil fuels, especially nowadays. And fuel prices worry even the well-heeled owners of cars like the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 and Mercedes S-Class. But does buying the electric S-Class instead of the ICE one really save you money at the pump? After a week with the 2022 EQS 450, we have an answer.

Is the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 more efficient than the gasoline-powered S-Class?

A green 2022 Mercedes S500 4Matic S-Class in a city
2022 Mercedes S500 4Matic S-Class | Mercedes-Benz
2022 Mercedes 450+2022 Mercedes S-Class
Engine/motor arrangementRear permanently synchronous electric motorS500 4Matic: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with mild-hybrid assist
S580 4Matic/Maybach S580 4Matic: 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with mild-hybrid assist
Drive typeRWDAWD
Horsepower329 hpS500: 429 hp
S580: 496 hp
Torque417 lb-ftS500: 384 lb-ft
S580: 516 lb-ft
TransmissionSingle-speedNine-speed automatic
Usable battery capacity/fuel tank capacity107.8 kWh22.1 gallons (744.8 kWh)
MPG/MPGe rating97 mpge city/97 mpge highway S500: 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway/24 mpg combined
S580: 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway/19 mpg combined
Maybach S580: 15 mpg city/24 mpg highway/18 mpg combined
EPA-estimated range (based on combined rating)350 milesS500: 530 miles
S580: 420 miles
Maybach S580: 398 miles

Lithium-ion batteries aren’t as energy-dense as gasoline-filled fuel tanks—yet—hence why EVs typically can’t go as far as ICE cars. However, electric drivetrains are inherently more energy-efficient than ICE ones. In addition, the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 is a RWD car, while all gasoline-powered S-Class models have AWD. So, it’s no surprise that the EQS gets better mileage than the equivalent S-Class.

Furthermore, the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 has regenerative braking. So, while the regular 2022 Mercedes S-Class ‘wastes’ energy during braking, the EQS uses it to recharge slightly. This is also why EVs tend to return better mileage in urban environments than on highways.

2022 Mercedes EQS 450 vs. 2022 Mercedes S-Class: real-world efficiency

The side 3/4 view of a white 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 on a street
2022 Mercedes EQS 450 side 3/4 | Jordan Almond, MotorBiscuit

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So, do the EPA claims hold up IRL? Well, over the course of her 2022 Mercedes EQS press loan, one of our Section Editors, Jordan Almond, drove roughly 600 miles in mixed conditions. In that time, she recharged the EV twice—though not from empty—and “added a little” on two separate occasions. And while she returned it nearly empty, the EQS only dropped below 50% charge after a 160-180-mile highway trip.

In her experience, the EPA-estimated 350-mile range and 97 MPGe ratings “absolutely” hold up. And back-of-the-envelope math suggests, at worse, her EQS had a real-world range of roughly 300 miles. Also, we’re not the only ones who can speak to the EQS’s efficiency. Edmunds managed to eke out 422 miles out of its EQS 450 test vehicle.

As of this writing, MotorBiscuit hasn’t tested a 2022 Mercedes S-Class. But Edmunds saw a combined 23.7 mpg with its S580 tester. That’s better than the EPA estimates, and it means the S-Class can go even farther on a tank than the EQS than anticipated. But it still means the ICE S-Class isn’t as efficient as its electric equivalent.

How much does it cost to refuel a 2022 S-Class?

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OK, so the 2022 Mercedes S-Class uses energy less efficiently than the EQS 450, though it carries more energy onboard. However, that’s not necessarily a good thing from your wallet’s perspective. After all, a bigger tank needs more fuel, which means spending more money, at least on paper. Plus, like many high-end luxury cars, the S-Class runs on pricier premium gasoline.

As of this writing, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the national average cost of premium gasoline is $4.296/gallon. So, filling up a 2022 S-Class’s tank would cost you $94.94 right now.

How much does it cost to charge the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450?

The front 3/4 view of a white 2022 Mercedes EQS 450+ charging in a Mercedes dealership lot
2022 Mercedes EQS 450 charging front 3/4 | Jordan Almond, MotorBiscuit

During her week-long 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 press loan, Jordan didn’t have access to a Level 2 home charger. So, she had to rely on public charging stations, as well as the Mercedes dealership’s charger. Luckily, one of those public chargers was a Volta, which offers free charging, though she only used it twice. Interestingly, the Mercedes dealership didn’t provide free charging. Regardless, she paid $31.67 to drive the EQS around Texas.

Keep in mind, Mercedes offers two years of free charging at ChargePoint stations with each 2022 EQS, whether it’s the EQS 450 or the AMG version. Therefore, owners could initially pay nothing at first if they only use public chargers. But most EQS owners will likely have a Level 2 charger at home. And the free recharging eventually ends.

Let’s tackle this in parts. As of this writing, EIA says the average residential retail price of electricity is $0.111/kWh. Assuming you’re recharging the EQS from 0%, that works out to $11.97 for a full battery. That’s roughly 13% of the cost of refueling a regular S-Class.

As for public charging stations, prices vary based on location. And while ChargePoint has a handy charger map, its website doesn’t list a nationwide average cost. However, Electrify America lists average Level 2 and Level 3 charging costs on a state-by-state basis, so we’ll use those as a guide.

As the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 can accept a 100-kW charging rate, DC fast-charging costs $0.32/min in Texas. Since the EQS 450 can go from 10-80% charge in 31 minutes, that’s $9.92 for a recharge session. Other states, though, charge by the kWh; Electrify America quotes a $0.43/kWh price. Assuming your EQS is at 0%, that works out to $46.35; for the 10-80% scenario, it’s $32.45.

Is the EV cheaper to fill up than the S-Class?

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In short, the 2022 Mercedes EQS 450 costs less to ‘refuel’ than the Mercedes S-Class. Admittedly, how much less depends on local fuel and electricity prices. But even so, Edmunds estimates an EQS 450 owner could save roughly $1000-$1500 annually from not buying gasoline. And it’s worth noting that a base 2022 EQS 450 costs about $7500 less than a base S500 4Matic.

True, some of those savings do get eaten up in paying for a Level 2 home charger and 240V outlet installation. Also, this cost comparison doesn’t cover things like insurance and maintenance.

Still, in the real world, the EV claims hold up: charging an EQS is cheaper than fueling up an S-Class.

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