Range may soon cease to be an issue for electric cars. The proof with the Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept, capable of driving over 1,000 km on a single charge. We were able to experience this rolling laboratory exclusively.
The electric car is a topic of lively discussion in the automotive world. Between its ardent defenders and its fiercest opponents, Frequently debated topic: autonomy. Much in progress in recent years, just to the pro-electrics used to the recharging stage and repels the electrosceptics used to filling up with express fuel.
A model could very well make everyone agree. Its name, Mercedes Vision EQXX Concept. His strength, having joined Cassis of Stuttgart, i.e. just over 1,000 km for an average of 8.7 kWh per 100 km, without ever recharging the battery. A real feat insofar as Mercedes only didoptimize existing technical solutions to make them as efficient as possible.
The first, and oldest of all, is nothing more than aerodynamics. The Etoile brand had already managed in the past to develop vehicles with completely crazy aerodynamics, in particular the 1938 W125 or the 1969 C111. The EQXX is of this caliber, with a pure, extremely fluid design with no superfluous appendages.
Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.
It is possible to know the resale or exchange value of your vehicle thanks to the automatic Turbo rating of your Mercedes EQXX, the alternative to the Argus rating.
The back is definitely the part the most impressive with this peacock tail spoiler and especially its retractable diffuser that unfolds from 60 km/h. Everything was thought to get the best cX, in this case 0.17what makes the EQXX the car with the best drag coefficient in the world.
“We wanted to design the most aerodynamic car possible, respecting Mercedes’ DNA, i.e. an identifiable design and sportiness” explains Teddy Woll, aerodynamics manager for the EQXX.
Every detail is important. For example, the small active divider on the front it can open on hills or in the hottest areas to direct air under the flat bottom. Same thing for the small mirrors and the side vents in the front meant to clear out bad airflow. Finally, and it’s hard to see with the naked eye, wheels with aerodynamic rims have been shifted a few millimeters inside the body for even less air resistance.
Motorsport at the service of mass production
The other part of the optimization work concerns the mechanical part and the battery. The engineers responsible for the EQXX project were thus able to count on the help Mercedes F1 and Formula E teams to make the car as efficient as possible.
Again, no exuberance in the program. The engine offers 180 kW of power (244 hp) and the battery delivers just under 100 kWh capacity, little less than the big EQS sedan. The feat is in having reduces the size of the latter by half and its weight by 30% (495 kg on the scale removing liquid cooling in particular) while increasing its energy density (400 Wh/l). Enough to fit in a vehicle with the weight (1,755 kg thanks to the use of lightweight materials) and wheelbase similar to that of a compact sedan (2.80 meters against 2.84 for Class C).
Finally, and this is the last point that Julien Millas and the other engine engineers worked on, the energy loss between battery and wheels decreased by 50% to reach 95% efficiency on this model. Moreover, thanks to its voltage of 900 volts, the EQXX can recover 100 km of autonomy in 5 minutes to a maximum charging power of 140 kW. According to Mercedes itself, it was possible to do better, but it was not essential given the range offered by the car.
Artificial intelligence as a co-pilot
1,000 km on a single charge and less than 10 kWh per 100 km is the promise of the EQXX. Once on board, and after a few tens of kilometers driven, it is clear that Mercedes did not lie: the car displays well 8.5 kWh per 100 km on your on-board computer, i.e. a range of almost 1,200 km ! And that, without playing the eco-driver and still taking advantage of the long straights to test the beast’s acceleration. I’ve never seen !
More than your completely normal driving experience for an electric vehicle: Vigorous acceleration and cathedral silence on board, it is its interior that fascinates. Already because this 4-seater is lined with plant elements. From cacti to mushrooms and even bamboo. But mainly because its panel is in fact composed only of a 48-inch screen encompassing many functions.
The most impressive? Undoubtedly, the function that allows you to see in real time wind direction and strength depending on the speed and movements of the car. Or the effect of the sun’s rays on the 117 solar panels installed on the roof and capable of recovering up to 25 km per battery cycle. And of course, artificial intelligence capable oftell the driver when to accelerate, brake or just lighten up to recover maximum energy during deceleration. In short, the co-pilot of the future!
|Model tested: Mercedes EQXX 180 kW|
|Dimensions W x W x H||4.975 / 1.870 / 1.348 m|
|Length between the axis||2,800m|
|Drums||Just under 100 kWh|
|mixed consumption||8.3 kWh/100 km (8.5 kWh measured)|