Dcarmaker Mercedes-Benz’s vision of an efficient electric car with a record range has passed the practical test. The “Vision EQXX” prototype introduced earlier this year covered a distance of more than 1,000 kilometers in a test drive on a single battery charge. The research car is the most efficient Mercedes ever built, CEO Ola Källenius said on Thursday. “The technology program behind it marks a milestone in the development of electric vehicles.” Head of development Markus Schäfer spoke of a “project for the future of automotive engineering” that should find its way into series models in two to three years.
In addition to high prices and a lack of charging options, concerns about insufficient range still keep many consumers from switching to zero-emission electric cars. Several companies are working on solutions. The US startup Our Next Energy tested its battery with a Tesla Model S in December and got a 1,210-kilometer ride. Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio promises 1,000 kilometers per battery charge for its ET7 series model. According to an overview of comparison portal Carwow, the Mercedes EQS luxury sedan has the longest range of up to 768 kilometers among current electric cars, followed by the Tesla Model S Long Range with up to 652 kilometers. According to Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz was the first car manufacturer to manage the ultra-long distance at low temperatures and an average speed of 90 kilometers per hour.
It depends on the weight of the battery.
But course registration is less important than low power consumption, the head of development emphasized. Because driving long distances with big and heavy batteries is not an art. Average consumption with half a ton of relatively light batteries was 8.7 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 kilometers on the 11.5-hour journey from Sindelfingen through the Alps to the Côte d’Azur. Applied to combustion engines, that would mean a consumption of around one litre. According to mobility service provider DKV, electric cars currently need an average of 15 kWh per 100 kilometres. According to Schäfer, Mercedes’ heavy premium models consume a good 20 kWh on the highway. In series production, it should go down “towards ten”.
The vehicle sets standards for energy efficiency through improved battery technology, the use of lightweight materials, tires with low rolling resistance and thanks to “the best aerodynamics in the world”, explained Mercedes-Benz. It was invented in a record time of just 18 months, compared to 40 months for major model types. “We want to be in a new development cycle,” said Schäfer. “The formula is speed.”