Vision EQXX squeezes a staggering 747 miles out of less than 100 kWh
The Vision EQXX left Stuttgart, Germany, and drove to Silverstone in the UK on a single charge of its sub-100 kWh battery, mainly at motorway speeds, then completed a few track laps before running out of juice at 1,202 km (747 miles). That's about twice what a Tesla Model S can do on the same amount of energy.
This is the second time this machine has beaten the 1,000 km (621 mile) mark; in April, the EQXX headed south through the Italian alps and finished up near Marseille in Southern France, 1,008 km (626 miles) later – with plenty of range left in the battery, according to the team.
Getting 747 miles out of less than 100 kWh is an extraordinary achievement. For reference, Our Next Energy made a similar 752-mile (1,210 km) highway trip in a Tesla Model S last year, using a modified battery pack holding 203.7 kWh. The average speed for that trip was 55 mph (88.5 km/h).
The EQXX averaged a slightly lower 51.6 mph (83 km/h) – although there were Autobahn closures near the start of its journey, and the team left the air con running for about 8 of the journey's 14.5 hours. And once it hit Silverstone, Formula E racer Nyck de Vries took the wheel for 11 laps, taking it to its maximum governed 87 mph (140 km/h) limit and generally giving it the berries before rolling to a stop in pit lane. So it seems evident that under ideal conditions, the EQXX could indeed go a fair bit further.
How does this car perform so efficiently, delivering an outstanding energy consumption of 8.3 kWh per 100 km? Well, it's got some 117 solar panels on the roof, yes, but these aren't connected to the powertrain – instead, they top up an auxiliary LiFePO4 battery that runs the lights, infotainment system, A/C fans and other gadgets in the cabin. Mercedes-Benz estimates the solar assistance adds a maximum of about 25 km (15 miles) a day under ideal weather conditions.
So it ain't the solar, it's the rest of the car. And this research vehicle has been designed with an obsessive focus on efficiency. We broke down the technology behind the Vision EQXX in detail back in January, but here's the gist: it's a bit of everything.
The car weighs 1,750 kg (2,858 lb) – less than half of what a Tesla Model S weighs with a similar battery capacity – thanks to lightweighting efforts all over, from the silicon-rich battery anodes, to carbon-reinforced sugar cane composite materials and forged magnesium wheels with ultra-low rolling resistance Bridgestone tires.
Naturally, aerodynamics plays an important role, and the EQXX's drag coefficient of 0.17 handily beats the Model S's 0.208, incorporating plenty of active aeros such as its retractable high-speed diffuser. And Mercedes-Benz says the 180 kW electric drive unit itself is super-efficient as well, losing minimal energy in heat loss, which allows it to run a compact and lightweight cooling system.
It's not some stripped-out hypermiler, though – the cabin is plenty luxurious, featuring mood lighting and a colossal 47.5-inch, 8K-resolution infotainment display and a proper sound system including headrest speakers and seat-shaking bass exciters.
“The journey continues – even further, even more efficient! Yet again, the VISION EQXX has proven that it can easily cover more than 1,000 km on a single battery charge, this time faced with a whole different set of real- world conditions. As Mercedes-Benz strives to go all-electric by 2030 wherever market conditions allow, it is important to show to the world what can be achieved in real terms through a combination of cutting-edge technology, teamwork and determination,” comments Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Development and Procurement, in a press release.