Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept revealed, promises 621-mile range

Mercedes-Benz plans to go the full-electric route by 2030, and on Monday the automaker unveiled the Vision EQXX concept car to demonstrate its leadership and capabilities when it comes to electric-vehicle technology.

Mercedes started development of the EQXX with the goal of rethinking every element of an electrically powered vehicle in order to maximize efficiency. The result, the automaker claims, is a car that can cover 1,000 kilometers (approximately 621 miles) of real-world driving on a single charge, or about 100 miles more than the current range king, the 520-mile Lucid Air Dream Edition Range.

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

The EQXX is a sedan that weighs approximately 3,858 pounds, has a wheelbase of 110 inches, generates a peak 201 hp, and runs on a 900-volt electrical system. The wheels are an aerodynamic design measuring 20 inches across and are wrapped in Bridgestone’s Turanza Eco tire.

Mercedes tapped all of its various divisions to help maximize the car’s efficiency, including the Formula One team. This extends to the software used by the car. Other key efficiency areas include the design of the electric motors, the use of lightweight materials, and the optimization of aerodynamics.

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

In the case of aero, we’re talking a coefficient of drag of about 0.17, thus beating the 0.20 Cd rating of the Mercedes EQS—which has the lowest rating for a production vehicle. And a single drive unit combining an electric motor, transmission and power electronics featuring a new generation of silicon carbides, helps transfer 95% of energy stored in the battery to the wheels.

Another key area is heat management. A system of aero-shutters, coolant valves and water pumps helps keep the drive unit and battery from overheating. Conversely, when conditions are cold, which normally reduces range, the system can help preserve heat. A heat pump is also present to help draw heat from the drive system for keeping the cabin warm. It also features an external heat exchanger that draws heat from the ambient air to help warm up the cabin faster.

Weight reduction was achieved via the increased use of lightweight materials. However, there was also a new technique employed for some structural elements, where software tools were used to design parts with high-strength, low-material characteristics, resulting in somewhat organic-looking forms. We’ve seen something similar from companies like hypercar startup Czinger.

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Finally, the EQXX features a solar array connected to its own small battery. Energy generated by the solar array is used to power ancillaries like the lights, infotainment system, and other cabin features. This takes some load off the main battery.

In terms of overall efficiency, Mercedes said the concept uses less than 10 kwh of electricity per 100 km. That’s the amount of energy needed to run a home’s air conditioner or tumble dryer for about three hours.

The main battery is close to 100 kwh in capacity and features a density of about 400 watt-hours per liter. What this means is that the battery has almost the same capacity as the battery in the EQS but is half the size and 30% lighter. This was primarily achieved via better packaging of the cells, plus the use of anodes with high silicon content—which means they can hold more energy.

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Mercedes Vision EQXX EV concept

Compared to the technology elsewhere in the vehicle, the interior appears somewhat conventional. It features current Mercedes design themes, but with a futuristic flair. Highlights include the wide screen spanning the dash, as well as the sustainable materials used throughout. One of these is a leather-like material made from mycelium, which is the underground structure of mushrooms and other fungi.

While Mercedes isn’t expected to launch a production version of the Vision EQXX, lessons learned in developing it will benefit future EVs from the automaker. Mercedes said it will spend more than 40 billion euros (approximately $45.3 billion) on EV development between 2022 and 2030.

The Vision EQXX is Mercedes’ highlight for the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show starting Jan. 5 in Las Vegas. Due to the pandemic, a number of exhibitors, including Mercedes, will hold online presentations only. For more CES news, head to our dedicated hub.

Source: Motor Authority

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