Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new Vision EQXX concept car that is claimed to deliver a benchmark 0.17 drag coefficient and 625-mile range on a single charge – enough to get you from Berlin to Paris.
The futuristic-looking slippery saloon was revealed virtually at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Rather than increasing the size of the battery, the German automaker focused on maximising long-distance efficiency. Aerodynamic drag can have a big impact on range. In fact, a typical EV uses around two-thirds of its energy just pushing its way through the air. Reducing the drag by as little as 0.01 adds around 2.5% to an EV’s range, according to the manufacturer.
Mercedes design team were able to achieve a 0.17 drag coefficient by using advanced digital modelling techniques.
The result was a design where “the surfaces of the VISION EQXX run smoothly from the front, developing powerful yet sensual shoulders above the rear wheel arches,” said a company statement.
“This natural flow concludes with a cleanly defined, aerodynamically effective tear-off edge accentuated by a gloss-black end trim, punctuated by the rear light clusters.”
The EQXX has an energy consumption of less than 10kWh per 100 kilometres, or more than 6 miles per kWh. Translated into fossil fuel consumption, this is around the “golden figure” of 282 miles-per-gallon in the UK or 1 litre of gasoline per 100 kilometres.
For perspective, the same 10kWh of energy would run a tumble dryer for just over three hours or is the equivalent of watching a 50-inch LED TV for 100 hours.
These simulations and estimates are “completely realistic” with many of these advancements already being integrated into production of the next generation of Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture.
Another way that Mercedes has boosted the EQXX’s range is by installing 117 solar cells on the roof. Under ideal conditions, these ultra-thin roof panels feed the battery system by adding up to 15 miles of range.
The panels were developed with Europe’s largest solar energy research institute – the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.
Inside the vehicle there is a seamless 47.5inch display stretching from one A-pillar to the other, featuring 8k resolution.
The Mercedes team joined up with navigation experts NAVIS Automotive Systems to build the first real-time 3D navigation system on a screen of this size. “It performs seamless zoom and scroll functions from satellite view down to a height of 10 metres in the 3D city representation,” said a company statement.
Markus Schäfer, chief technology officer at Mercedes, said: “The technology programme behind the VISION EQXX will define and enable future Mercedes-Benz models and features.”
“As a halo car, the VISION EQXX firmly establishes Mercedes-Benz as the brand that pairs luxury with technology in the automotive world and beyond.”