Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX electric concept car range record article highlights:
- The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept just broke its own range record, traveling 747 miles on one charge
- Rather than just giving the concept a big battery, Mercedes achieved the record by making the Vision EQXX as efficient as possible
- Although there won’t be a production version, the EQXX’s technology will trickle down into Mercedes road cars
Will ‘there’s no proxy for battery capacity’ become the ‘no replacement for displacement’ for the future EV world? Because for many, solving electric car range anxiety might seem like just a matter of building bigger batteries. However, there are other, arguably better ways of boosting EV range. And the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept just became proof of that by breaking its own range record.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept just set a new electric car range record…again
Although Mercedes is no stranger to setting car records, it’s rarely broken one that it already set. And yet, that’s exactly what the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept just did.
Earlier this year, the sleek Vision EQXX made a big statement when it ran 621 miles on a single charge. And I do mean ‘ran,’ because it didn’t make this range claim in a sterile laboratory on a rolling road. Instead, Mercedes drove its electric concept car from Sindelfingen, Germany to Cassis in France’s Côte d’Azur, which involved crossing the Swiss Alps. Furthermore, when it arrived the Vision EQXX still had an indicated 15% charge.
Apparently, Mercedes took that as a challenge. So, it recently took the Vision EQXX on an even longer journey from Stuttgart, Germany to Silverstone in time for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. But this trip wasn’t just longer, it was also more difficult. Besides navigating past an autobahn closure, the team faced more stop-and-go traffic as well as battery-unfriendly higher temperatures. And while the Alps were a great place to use regenerative braking, this trip was less regen-friendly.
In the end, though, the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX did even better than before. When the electric concept car rolled onto the Silverstone track, it still had enough range to do 11 laps at its 87-mph top speed. And when it finally rolled to a halt, it had done 747 miles on a single charge.
How does this electric Mercedes-Benz concept car have a 747-mile range?
Now, the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX did need a sizable battery to go that far. However, while its 100-kWh battery is on the larger side, there are bigger ones in the EV world. Mercedes’ own EQS450+ has a 107.8-kWh pack, for example.
So, the battery capacity wasn’t the only factor. Instead, Mercedes took a page from the Volkswagen XL1’s handbook and made its electric concept car as efficient as possible. And that required, among other things, some genuine F1 thinking.
Firstly, although the Vision EQXX’s pack has less capacity than the EQS battery, it’s lighter, smaller, and more energy-dense. Also, it’s air-cooled, which means it doesn’t need a big, heavy cooling system. This also lets the Vision EQXX siphon heat from the battery as well as its 241-hp electric motor to warm the interior. As a result, its HVAC system is significantly lighter and smaller. And in addition to the regenerative braking system, the EQXX also has roof-mounted solar panels and thousands of ‘dimming zones’ in its 47.5” digital display.
Secondly, the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX is both light and aerodynamic. Its sleek shape is courtesy of carbon-fiber door panels and an aluminum-and-plastic chassis, including the single biggest piece of cast aluminum Mercedes makes, Roadshow says. The brake discs are aluminum, too, while the suspension springs are made of glass-fiber-reinforced plastic. Furthermore, the EQXX’s body, combined with active aero shutters and a retractable rear diffuser, gives it a 0.17 drag coefficient.
But that’s not the only forward-thinking feature in the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX. That plastic in the chassis? It’s sustainably sourced and shaped via a material-saving casting process, as are the EQXX’s damper domes and wiper brackets. Also, cactus fibers and fungi make up the vegan leather upholstery, the carpets are bamboo fiber, and recycled plastics form the trim pieces.
It turns out that improving electric car ranges isn’t just about improving battery technology. It’s also about reshaping EVs themselves.
Will the EQXX become a real production EV?
As you’ve likely determined by now, the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX isn’t some static electric concept car. It’s a fully-functioning EV with four seats and a reasonably quiet, if slightly cramped, interior and a decent ride, Roadshow reports. But it’s also a ‘cost no object’ technology showcase that isn’t headed to production.
However, much of this tech will end up in a future Mercedes-Benz product. And in a way, some of it already has. A few of the F1 brains Mercedes tapped for the EQXX also worked on the AMG One hypercar. So, someday soon, you might not need the biggest battery out there to go far in your electric Mercedes.
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