Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX completes over 600 miles on a single charge

Don’t go easy on this good night, the cars should be running and raving at the end of the day. Worn, worn against the decaying battery.

Yes, it’s a bad rip-off of Dylan Thomas’ poem about aging, but it’s a great metaphor for what Mercedes-Benz has just achieved with its highly streamlined, all-electric Vision EQXX concept car. Still boasting 87 miles of range to go – the thing didn’t even run empty – this road-legal concept was able to pull off an 11-hour, 32-minute run without ever stopping to recharge. its battery. On real roads and at real speeds, from Sindelfingen, Germany, to Cassis, northern Italy. For those without a map of Europe to hand, that translates to a total distance of 1,000 km, or 621 miles, at an average speed of just over 54 mph.

An epic journey for EV technology

The trip started on a cold and rainy morning in Sindelfingen. The goal, of course, was to run the EQXX further on a single charge than any other electric vehicle before. With Germany’s TUV, a certification body that works on everything from vehicles and their spare parts to home electronics, coming and even tampering with the charging port, Mercedes and the Vision EQXX have embarked on an incredible record-breaking journey. . This achievement makes the EQXX, according to Mercedes, the longest road-legal electric vehicle to date, although we must remind you again that although the EQXX is street-legal, you cannot buy one, so it’s not technically a “production car”. .”

While the first part of the EQXX’s run saw it land on the autobahn at 87mph, the rest of the journey included driving through the Swiss Alps and the Gotthard tunnel, regular street driving around from Milan and on to Cassis, Italy, via the route along the French Riviera where the EQXX ended in the late evening. For 11 hours and 32 minutes, the 621-mile endurance test would end with an average average speed of 54.43 mph. Even after those nearly 12 hours on the road, the EQXX’s 8.7 kWh per 62 mile average consumption meant it could still have traveled another 87 miles using the energy left in the battery.

Even if you discount the 87 miles of unused range, the EQXX (which admittedly hasn’t been and won’t be tested by the EPA) smashes the official range numbers of current champions in this field. , the Tesla Model S (405 miles) and Lucid Air (up to 520 miles according to the EPA). Factor in the 87 miles, and the EQXX had the potential to go over 700 miles between charges. That would be an impressive lineup for an internal combustion vehicle, let alone a streetable EV prototype.

The technologies involved

It was also a demonstration of the EQXX’s high silicon anode and high energy density battery which is air-cooled rather than water-cooled. This means that, although it is only a 100 kWh capacity battery, the battery is 50% smaller in volume and 30% lighter than the 108 kWh battery in the Mercedes EQS. The battery measures 78 x 50 x 4 inches and weighs just 1,091 pounds. In order to keep the battery cool, the Vision EQXX uses permanent passive cooling with an underbody cooling plate. This gives the battery an astonishing energy density of almost 400 Wh/litre while allowing an operating voltage of almost 900 volts.

While the battery is air-cooled, the 180kW Formula 1-derived engine is not. However, water-cooling the drive motor allows Mercedes engineers to build an on-demand active cooling system that would open and close the shutters at the radiator openings as needed to keep the system cool. These flaps would also open when the air conditioning system needed its condenser cooled so that the cabin remained at a comfortable temperature during the journey with a minimum of excessive aerodynamic drag from the body openings.

Cabin heat, meanwhile, is controlled by a heat pump that draws air sources into the heat exchanger and transmission to regulate the temperature. Powering it and the entire 12 volt system is a solar roof consisting of 117 solar cells which reduce the consumption of the drive battery. It also uses its regenerative system during braking and during slowdowns to recover lost energy while the entire transmission is further optimized to reduce losses by 44% compared to a standard electric vehicle transmission.

Weightloss

The incredible autonomy of the EQXX is also due to the use of lightweight materials. The most interesting note is the use of aluminum brake rotors as the EQXX’s energy recovery system is powerful enough to reduce the use of the hydraulic braking system. The rear floor also uses a new aluminum casting process allowing the use of one piece over multiple pieces which would have increased its weight.

On top of that, wherever the structure didn’t need extra strength, gaps were formed to further reduce weight. While a metal plate is needed to help passively cool the battery, its top is made of a new carbon-fiber-sugar composite. In total, the Vision EQXX weighs 3,869 pounds.

Reduce resistance

That weight is managed by a set of Bridgestone tires made just for the Vision EQXX that have a rolling resistance rating of just 4.7 for a size 185/65R20 tire. That’s significantly lower than the tires used in the EQS, which have a rolling resistance of 5.9. The low resistance is achieved through a new tire technology that reduces tire deformation while driving as well as a tighter tire belt than a standard tire. Bridgestone not only reduces rolling resistance, but also tire weight by 20%.

Air resistance is also a huge barrier to achieving high output, which is why the EQXX features more than the previously mentioned flaps. The transition from tire to wheel rim is another part that has been optimized for aerodynamics on the EQXX. The entire body has also been sculpted for maximum aerodynamic efficiency and reduced drag for a CoD of 0.17 at maximum aerodynamic efficiency. That’s not bad for a vehicle with a frontal area of ​​22.82 square feet.

While the Vision EQXX is unique, the technologies developed within it will all be carried over to future all-electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. While aluminum disc brakes, high-silicon anode batteries, and carbon fiber and sugar composites are likely overdue for full production, the use of one-piece aluminum structures, heat pumps Improved and more efficient EV drivetrains are not and those will lead to impressive range figures in Mercedes’ next electric vehicles.

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