Range – or the lack thereof – is one of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of electric vehicle (EV) technology. There’s only so far you can go before you need to head in for a charge, which is where the second pain point behind EVs lie – charging times that far exceed the five minutes or so it takes to fill up the tank with good ol’ petrol.
That’s where Mercedes-Benz’s Vision EQXX concept EV comes in: a culmination of research, dreams and the desire to go where one pleases with nary a care for supercharging stations along the way, distilled into a road-legal concept car.
This comes by way of a battery pack hefting almost 100 kWh of energy – just shy of the EQS’ 108, at half the volume and around 30 per cent lighter. There’s also an electric drivetrain, designed and built in-house, which delivers an impressive benchmark efficiency of 95 per cent – all wrapped in an ultra-aerodynamic shell, allowing the vehicle to deliver a range of 1,000km on a single charge in real-world (i.e. public road) conditions.
The only catch? That outstanding consumption of 10 kWh, quite a bit better than the Tesla Model 3 Long Range’s 16, was determined on digital simulations. But that’s fine, since the real-world concept vehicle went from the drawing board to rolling off the conveyor belt in just a year-and-a-half – so you can expect results from testing in the real world soon.
It’s also a representation of German automotive marque’s willingness to dream. Think touches like ultra-thin solar panels on the concept car’s roof, which eke out an extra 25km of extra range. Or the use of recycled and plant-based materials, in a bid to reduce waste filling landfills while paring down each vehicle’s carbon footprint.
These details, though minute, are details that’d probably make the difference in the EV of today and tomorrow. And the brand is looking at tomorrow. Says Ola Kallenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, “The Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX is how we imagine the future of electric cars.”
So here’s to hoping that we can soon take our eyes off the gauge and keep them squarely on the road, or the world around us. Until we need to head in for a charge – but that’s a matter for another day.