No automaker has achieved this feat with an EV.
When Mercedes-Benz unveiled the aerodynamic EQXX concept car, the industry was astounded by the company's lofty claims. Courtesy of lightweight construction, a slippery shape, and intelligent thermal management, the Stuttgart-based automaker touted it as the most efficient EV ever, capable of a claimed 625-mile range that left many onlookers doubtful.
Well, the luxury carmaker has not only demonstrated the incredible efficiency to be true but even surpassed its claims - in real-world testing. On a trip across Europe, the Vision EQXX covered more than 621 miles (1,000 km) and arrived at its destination with 87 miles of remaining range. You may question the test conditions, but this was carried out in everyday traffic, with no stops to top up the battery.
The sleek EV set off from Sindelfingen and arrived on the Cote d'Azur 12 hours later, via the Swiss Alps and Northern Italy. Germany's TUV Sud ensured there was no foul play; the organization sealed the charging socket and accompanied the record-breaking EV on its 12-hour journey from Sindelfingen to the Cote d'Azur.
"With our successful road trip to the South of France, we've shown that efficiency is the new currency. And this success also clearly speaks for our new collaborative development process, incorporating many learnings from the Mercedes-AMG F1 team and its cutting-edge expertise in electric powertrains," said CTO Markus Schäfer.
Ahead of the finish line lay a series of varied conditions that would challenge the EQXX. From mountain passes to range-killing stretches on the highway, the EV had to also deal with freezing temperatures as low as 37.4°F. But the EQXX remained unflustered, sailing through obstacles in silence. Mercedes says the varying conditions helped document the various efficiency measures.
The sleek shape and drag coefficient of just 0.17 cd was a key component of the incredible result. At speeds of up to 87 mph, the concept simply cut through the air with minimal fuss, aiding in the range. The feat achieved by the EQXX is worth more than just bragging rights to Mercedes-Benz; future EVs will soon implement this technology.
Currently, the EQS 450+ is capable of an EPA-rated range estimate of 350 miles. The big German is soundly thrashed by the Tesla Model S which can travel over 400 miles on a single charge, although the Lucid Air can give both a run for their money.
With this level of technology at its disposal, Mercedes-Benz will undoubtedly lead the way in terms of battery technology and may just do away with range anxiety concerns entirely. "The technology program behind it marks a milestone in the development of electric vehicles. It underpins our strategic aim to 'Lead in Electric'," said Chairman of the Board of Management, Ola Källenius.
With the EQS SUV on its way, the brand's electric offerings will only grow from strength to strength. Some may not take to the divisive styling applied to the company's battery-powered models but if this technology makes it to road-going models anytime soon, there's no denying the three-pointed star will dominate the electric segment.