- Mercedes-Benz’s electric concept car drove 626 miles across Europe without recharging.
- The Mercedes Vision EQXX has a range that beats the Tesla Model S and Lucid Air.
- Most electric cars can drive 200-300 miles on a full battery.
Mercedes-Benz’s latest electric concept car drove 1,008 kilometers — 626 miles — on a single charge of its battery pack, a feat that could signal a future free from range and charging anxiety.
The company said Thursday that its Vision EQXX traveled more than twice the distance the typical electric car sold today can cover between fill-ups, generally 200-300 miles.
The test trounced even the most advanced and expensive battery-powered vehicles on the market. Tesla’s longest-range model, the $100,000 Model S sedan, is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency for up to 405 miles of range. The $170,000 Lucid Air, the current range king, has an EPA rating of 520 miles.
The Vision EQXX started its journey in Germany before passing through the Swiss Alps and Northern Italy on its way to the southern coast of France. What’s more, Mercedes didn’t make sure the 12-hour trip happened in perfect or uniform conditions, but rather a variety of environments people might actually experience.
The road trip included 87-mph stints on the Autobahn, mountain passes, rain, and temperatures ranging from around 37 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. At the end of its journey, the Vision EQXX still had 87 miles of range left, amounting to a theoretical range exceeding 700 miles.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Vision EQXX in January as an experiment in efficiency. The German automaker sought to create an extremely lightweight vehicle that could slip through the air with minimal drag and yield maximum range. During 626 miles of driving, the concept car consumed one kilowatt-hour (kWh) for every 7.1 miles traveled. EVs today generally get 2-4 miles per kWh.
The Vision EQXX managed its feat with a 100-kWh battery pack that’s roughly the same capacity as that of Mercedes’s EQS sedan, which is rated at 350 miles of range. It shows that you don’t need a giant battery to achieve super-long driving range.
The concept car was aided by a solar roof, which Mercedes says can add 16 miles of range on a journey of 1,000 kilometers.
In the end, the Vision EQXX is just a concept car, so don’t necessarily expect a 700-mile Mercedes or a vehicle that looks like this to hit the market anytime soon. But Mercedes says some of the breakthroughs it achieved here will be incorporated into production models.