Mercedes Vision EQXX concept EV takes 1,000-km European road trip
Mercedes officially launched the sporty long-range Vision EQXX concept at a digital event back in January, promising 1,000 km (621 miles) of per-charge range in normal driving conditions. Now the company has put that claim to the test on a cross-border European road trip.
The concept vehicle's efficient electric drivetrain has been developed in collaboration with F1 specialists from Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, and has a peak power output of 180 kW (241 hp) and is reportedly able to send up to 95 percent of the main battery's energy to the wheels.
That 100-kWh battery pack is reported to be on an almost equal energy footing to the company's EQS production vehicle, but comes in 30 percent lighter at 495 kg (1,091 lb) and with dimensions of 200 x 126 x 11 cm (78 x 49 x 4 in) it takes up around half the space too.
At the start of the European road trip from Mercedes' Sindelfingen R&D center, near Stuttgart in Germany, engineers sealed up the charging socket and invited an independent observer from the TÜV Süd certification body to take the passenger seat.
The idea was to test the vehicle in real-world conditions, and high-speed driving featured early on in the journey as the Vision EQXX took to Autobahn 81 at up to 140 km/h (87 mph) on the way to Switzerland – making the most of the concept's low drag coefficient of 0.17, achieved thanks to the flowing body shape, compact front end, specially developed Bridgestone tires with low rolling resistance and active rear diffuser that automatically deploys at speeds above 60 km/h.
The concept soon made its way across the Swiss Alps, and then made the most of a long downhill drive toward Northern Italy by recuperating energy and feeding it back to the main battery bank. As the prototype headed south, the rainclouds cleared and the Sun began to shine down on the 177 photovoltaic panels connected to a separate 12-V battery that's used to power auxiliary systems and take some of the strain off the main battery bank, with Mercedes estimating that doing so can add an extra 25 km (15.5 miles) to the already impressive range figure.
The route took the team down past Milan before heading west toward the journey's end – the picturesque commune of Cassis near Marseille in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southern France. In all, the trip took just over 12 hours, clocked up 1,008 km (626 miles), and didn't involve a single charging stop along the way.
Temperatures during the journey ranged from 3 to 18 °C (37.4 - 64.4 °F), while weather conditions moved from light rain to bright sunshine. Mercedes reports that there was still some 15 percent charge remaining at the end of the epic EV adventure, which worked out at around 140 km (87 miles). Average speed was calculated to be 87.4 km/h (54 mph), top speed rolled up to 140 km/h.
"We did it! Powering through more than 1,000 kilometers with ease on a single battery charge and a consumption of only 8.7 kWh/100 km in real-world traffic conditions," said the Chairman of the Board of Management at Mercedes-Benz, Ola Källenius. "The Vision EQXX is the most efficient Mercedes ever built. The technology program behind it marks a milestone in the development of electric vehicles. It underpins our strategic aim to ‘Lead in Electric’."
Though the Vision EQXX remains a concept, Mercedes is planning to use technology showcased in the research prototype for future series-production vehicles.