The VISION EQXX doesn’t achieve this range by simply having a huge, heavy battery, instead the Mercedes electric car features a range of innovative technology. Aerodynamics and lightweighting are two key areas of focus.
When an electric car is being driven at motorway speeds, two-thirds of its energy is used just to cut through the air. Therefore, Mercedes has optimised the design of the VISION EQXX to achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.17, which is much lower than most production cars. A reduction of just 0.01 adds around 2.5% to the range.
The VISION EQXX also has 95% efficiency, in other words up to 95% of the energy from the battery ends up at the wheels – compared to just 30% from even the most efficient ICE drivetrain.
This results in the VISION EQXX achieving efficiency equivalent to a car with a petrol or diesel engine averaging 282mpg. In electrical terms, this means the VISION EQXX uses less than 10 kWh of electrical energy to travel 100 km, or it can drive 6 miles on 1 kWh of electrical energy.
A very small frontal area is an important element to achieve efficient aerodynamics. There are also tyres with aerodynamically optimised sidewalls and 20-inch, lightweight, forged-magnesium wheels.
In terms of lightweighting, the battery pack in the VISION EQXX holds almost 100 kWh of energy yet has 50% less volume and is 30% lighter than the pack in the Mercedes-Benz EQS. The gross vehicle weight of the VISION EQXX is around 1,750 kg. The brake discs are made from aluminium alloy, and the chassis has a lightweight F1 subframe.
The electric powertrain generates only minimal waste heat, and a cooling plate is installed in the vehicle floor, enabling it to take advantage of the air flowing along the underside of the VISION EQXX. This is the most aerodynamically efficient way of keeping the electric drive unit cool, allowing the vehicle to gain up to 14 miles of range. There’s also a heat pump to ensure the interior is heated with minimal loss to battery capacity.