When Mercedes-Benz promised us a vehicle that could drive 620 miles on a single charge, we figured it might be another high-flung CES promise. Now we’re eating our words: the company’s Vision EQXX successfully completed a journey of 1,008 kilometers — approximately 626 miles — without stopping to refuel.
The Vision EQXX’s record-setting road trip began in Sindelfingen, Germany to Cassis, France, taking the scenic route through the Alps to enjoy the view. The trip was completed at regular road speeds, though the car did hit speeds of nearly 90 mph on the autobahn.
By the time the EV had completed its journey, it still somehow had 15 percent battery leftover, which Mercedes-Benz says adds up to about 87 more miles it could’ve traveled. After 11.5 hours on the road.
Such extended range is pretty much unheard of in the EV market, with even top-of-the-line vehicles managing 300 to 400 miles at best. And to make this feat even more impressive, Mercedes-Benz made it possible by chasing innovative electricity consumption technology, rather than just adding an oversized battery.
Maximum efficiency —After completing its half-day drive, the Mercedes-Benz research team analyzed the Vision EQXX’s power consumption and found it had used just 8.7 kWh for every 100 kilometers traveled. That’s truly unheard of; just about every EV on the market utilizes at least 10 kWh per 100 kilometers.
Much of this efficiency can be attributed to the car’s electric drive unit, which includes the electric motor, transmission, and power electronics. The drive unit and battery are both quite small and light — and capable of ensuring 95 percent of all energy from the battery ends up being used by the wheels.
The Vision EQXX also includes an AI-driven efficiency assistant that helps drivers understand how to best drive the car so it gets the most mileage. The assistant analyzes factors like energy flow, topography, and the direction of the sun to work with the driver on keeping everything efficient.
And a solar roof —There’s one more feature keeping the Vision EQXX moving on long road trips: a roof with 117 solar cells. The sun soaked up by the roof is funneled to operations like the navigation and entertainment systems, so the battery power can be focused on actual driving functions. The solar power only adds about two percent to the car’s range, but those extra 10 miles or so could be just what you need to book it to a nearby quick-charge station.
Still no details on when the slick road trip beast will be available to the general public. With that kind of range, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a pre-order link — or you might just get left in the dust.