Imagine an electric car that would allow you to get from the centre of London to the car park at the UK’s northernmost point at Dunnet Head, near John o’ Groats, on a single battery charge – almost 700 miles – with absolutely no compromise in speed, comfort or, most important of all, driving enjoyment.
Not possible? One manufacturer is convinced it is and that's why the Mercedes Vision EQXX concept is here to prove it.
The rear-wheel-drive saloon acts as a showcase for the sort of electric driveline technology, aerodynamic developments and lightweight construction Mercedes says it is pursuing for future production models. Unlike most concepts, it is fully road legal. Officially, the new four-door is claimed to achieve 7.5 miles per kWh – twice as efficient as the recently introduced Mercedes EQE 350. With a specially constructed 100kWh battery integrated into its flat floor, this gives it a theoretical range of over 700 miles.
By comparison, the rear-drive EQE 350 with a 90.6kWh battery has a claimed range of 410 miles. The 900V unit features the latest lithium ion cells from CATL. They use a silicon anode and are claimed to provide an energy density of up to 400Wh per litre, making them far more energy efficient than the cells used in the batteries fitted to existing EQ electric models.It is also claimed to be 50% smaller and 30% lighter than today’s batteries.
Mercedes has already shown the potential of the Vision EQXX in two development drives, the latest of which was from Stuttgart to Goodwood, a distance of 747 miles, without the need for recharging. However, this was achieved by a team of highly trained test drivers with real-time access to all the information thrown up by a boot full of data loggers and in constant radio contact with engineers back at Mercedes’ base in Germany.
Nevertheless, so confident is Mercedes in the Vision EQXX’s ability to hit lofty efficiency targets with any driver at the wheel that it has just thrown me the key and told me to go for a drive to find out for myself just what is possible. Not just a low-speed tootle up the road and back, either, but a proper run along a series of undulating roads in and around its sprawling Immendingen R&D facility.