While the autonomy of electric cars is often cited as the main weakness, Mercedes has just completed a real-world trip of more than 1000 kilometers on a single charge between Stuttgart and Cassis.
The Mercedes Vision EQXX presented at the beginning of the year showed a range of over 1000 kilometers on paper. A theoretical range that the German brand has just demonstrated in real conditions.
1008 kilometers on the road, 140 kilometers of autonomy on arrival
In the early morning of April 5, the vehicle left the German city of Sindelfingen near Stuttgart with a symbolically sealed charging port. Aim indeed: reach Cassis on the Côte d’Azur without going through the charging station box.
A destination is reached at the end of the day, after 11 hours and 32 minutes of driving and a remaining range of 140 kilometers, after 1008 kilometers driven.
The interesting thing about this experiment is that it was carried out under real conditions, with an average speed of 87.4 km/h, a top speed of 140 km/h on the (German) Autobahn and while driving within the permissible range on the rest of the world highway route. The outside temperature also plays a major role in autonomy: on the route of the EQXX, which led through the Swiss Alps and northern Italy, it was between 3 and 18 degrees, says Mercedes.
In 2017, Italian Tesla fans had already driven 1,078 kilometers on a single charge in a Model S, but drove at an average speed of 40 km/h… for 29 hours.
Large battery and state-of-the-art aerodynamics
This prototype has several assets to achieve this small feat. Logically, it starts with an impressive 100 kWh battery. A capacity close to that of the large EQS sedan, the current flagship of the Mercedes range, but with a redesigned architecture. The battery requires 50% less volume and at 495 kg is 30% lighter than the EQXX prototype. An element that reduces the total curb weight of the vehicle to 1755 kg, not bad for a large sedan of almost 5 meters. For comparison: the 5.28 meter long EQS weighs almost 2.5 tons.
Second strong point: a particularly studied aerodynamics with a drag coefficient or Cx of only 0.17. Bridgestone has also developed special tires with very low rolling resistance.
Anecdotally, the EQXX is equipped with a solar roof. What offer to top up a bit without stopping at a terminal. “The 117 solar cells power the 12-volt battery, which powers auxiliary consumers such as the navigation system,” explains Mercedes, adding that the saving on the main high-voltage battery corresponds to an autonomy of 25 kilometers.
The key is an extremely limited consumption: 8.7 kWh per 100 kilometers. Quite an impressive number for such a journey, with the 100% electric models currently on the market you have to reckon with 17 kWh per 100 km, and more if driving only on the motorway.
Granted, it’s still a prototype, but Mercedes plans to introduce the new technologies tested on its EQXX in its next production cars. With its reduced volume, the battery can be “installed in a small car”, according to the press release from Mercedes… Maybe found in the future A-Class?