By on January 4, 2022

Electric vehicles are here, like it or not, and car companies have turned their attention (and vast resources) to making sure range anxiety is a thing of the past. Since that concern is a major hurdle for most Americans, the appearance of a Mercedes-Benz machine with a four-figure range is A Big Deal.

Well, four figures in metric measures, anyway.

No, the EQXX isn’t going to show up in Mercedes dealerships tomorrow, nor will it likely stand cheek-to-jowl with today’s G-wagens and AMGs. What it does represent is an effort to make sure we’re not all driving soulless transportation pods that need recharging every 100 miles once the last internal combustion engine is shut off for good.

According to the company, the Mercedes-Benz EQXX utilizes a battery pack with less than 100kWh of usable battery energy content, a sum currently enjoyed by a number of EVs on the road today. Where the EQXX seems to pack on the range is in the aerodynamics department, with a claimed 0.17 coefficient of drag and curb weight of 3,850 pounds. The former is aided by lozenge-like styling decisions while the latter is helped along by the use of lightweight materials. Horsepower, if you’re wondering, is in the ballpark of about 200 ponies.

An estimated-in-a-simulation 600+ miles out of a 100kWh battery pack is no mean feat, given that Merc’s own EQS is good for about 200 less than that with a similarly-sized bundle of electrons. Sure, the slicktop shape of this Mercedes-Benz EQXX helps but the company is keen to point out their strides in battery technology. Rather than simply increasing the size of it, Benz and their partners say they have developed a completely new battery pack for this concept, achieving what they describe as “remarkable energy density” which means there’s more juice per square inch.

The increase in energy density comes in part from progress in the chemistry of its anodes. Their higher silicon content and advanced composition mean they can hold considerably more energy than commonly used anodes. Energy density is also aided by highly integrating the battery pack into the platform, creating more space for cells that keep tabs on weight. The battery development team also decided to experiment with an unusually high voltage, pushing that figure to more than 900 volts. Doing so apparently permitted the engineering boffins to gather data on such a setup with eyes on developing something similar for future road-going vehicles.

Other concepts baked into the EQXX include a new take on thermal management, with a so-called ‘cooling plate’ installed in the vehicle floor. That’s a solar panel on the car’s roof as well, responsible for contributing an estimated 25 miles of driving range under certain conditions (read: The California sun) by permitting ancillaries like infotainment to be powered by this source of harvested energy instead of the main battery.

Here’s a stat for your next pub quiz: Mercedes says the super-low drag coefficient makes the EQXX more aerodynamic than an American football. No word on if it will be picked off by Brandin Echols and returned to the 50-yard line.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

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34 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX: 1000km (621 miles in Freedom Units) of All-Electric Driving...”


  • avatar
    notapreppie

    “An estimated-in-a-simulation 600+ miles out of a 100kWh battery pack”

    So, wait, they don’t have real-world data? Okay, well then immediately take 25% of that capacity off the top because I can guarantee they tweaked the simulated conditions to give them a newsworthy headline with big round numbers like “1000km”.

    The steady progression of battery technology is promising. I’ve read a lot of advances that have yet to be commercialized and if even 10% of them make it out of the lab, we should see some nice range improvements in the next decade.

  • avatar
    statikboy

    I’ve always been a fan, but – I’m not sure why – I’m starting to hate Toyotas.

    Range isn’t really an issue anymore. 300 to 400 miles will outlast almost anyone’s bladder. The problem is speed and availability of charging. There can be quite the lineup at some pumps when everyone takes less than 5 minutes to fill up. What happens when vehicles take 20 to 40?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “What happens when vehicles take 20 to 40?”

      The Powerball lottery jackpot grows due to increased ticket sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Stanley Steamer

      Well the advantage is you can install charging stations almost anywhere, meaning there will be more available. It’s like the self checkout clusters installed in supermarket, vs. standing in line for a cashier, analogous to waiting in line for a gas pump. The clusters are like parking lots with every space having a charge point.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    EPA range would more likely be in the 425 – 525 mile range, since M-B almost certainly reported their estimate per the NEDC test protocol.

    So this is probably in the same range as Tesla or Lucid.

    https://www.lifewire.com/ev-ranges-explained-5202261

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    That is one pretty clean looking design.

    Funny how much more range you can get when you aren’t trying to out horsepower V8s.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This +1. I get due to pricing most EVs are high end vehicles where the owner expects big, effortless power, but keeping them limited to 500 HP at this weight would still offer excellent acceleration while increasing range. Tesla, Lucid and Rivian are pushing out 800 to 1000 HP machines which seems completely unnecessary.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Clean design, yeah, but it’s pretty ugly from practically every angle. The front fender and the front door look like they are from two different cars.
      When batteries take the next leap or two forward, then aerodynamics won’t have to take priority over everything else, and hopefully cars will get better looking as a result. We have enough rolling eyesores and what-the-hells on the road and in the showrooms already.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I do the styling of this (esp the rear end) vs the current EQ thing they are preparing to sell, I just wish they would drop the fastback stuff for the sedan. The existing CLS already looks ridiculous and this just the electric that it seems.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    That is one beautiful car. I fully expect it to be out of my price range, but LOVE the design.

    That is one good thing about the EV shift, automakers are taking chances on design and there are some real home runs……..and then there are the Ford F-150 Lightnings and Hummer EVs. :(

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, I’m going to be the outlier here and say I’m not a big fan of the styling. But the tech here is certainly impressive.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Question: If the coefficient of drag is 0.17 from the factory, what is it after we install a set of these?

    http://www.amazon.com/OxGord-Car-Reindeer-Antlers-Nose/dp/B01MYNFG3Y

  • avatar
    dal20402

    With this sort of aero and battery tech, what kind of battery would you need for the 150-mile (urban, second car) or 300-mile (first car) sweet spots? I’m sure the eventual EV market will have some big batteries for all the TTACers who swear they make 1000-mile road trips every weekend, but the real volume is going to be in cheaper, lower-ranged EVs that do 95% of the mission.

    This is pointing the way toward a pretty near future in which EVs are cheaper than gas cars.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree with everything but the last sentence.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Why? The BOM of an EV is already much cheaper than a gas car except for the battery. If you reduce the needed capacity and increase battery density at the same time, you’re going to save a lot of money on the battery. If you can get 150 miles of real-world range out of 35 kWh (the path this concept is implying) and those kWh only cost $60 each because they can be made up of fewer cells, your electric powertrain has become significantly cheaper than an ICE and automatic transmission combo.

        I do hope that those cheap low-capacity EVs come to us from the US, Europe, Japan, or Korea—unfortunately I worry they’ll come from China.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I keep hearing that, and yet the costs are still about the same as conventional models (or more). The other factor is when the batteries are end of life, the EV model is worth very little until the battery is replaced – this is what was happening with the first gen Leaf for years now and in 15′ you could score an ’11 for $3,000-4,000 needing a battery. So is the lifetime of the car only supposed to equal that of the battery? If so, how is that environmentally friendly? What’s the carbon footprint to replace it?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Leaf”

            What’s the resale like on EVs that don’t have the battery engineering of a flaming dumpster?

            I’m guessing dal and I are a few years apart on when it will happen but “the price of new technology will fall over time” hasn’t historically been a risky prediction.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Tesla is now to the point where its powertrain costs are dropping below the ICE powertrains in equivalent segments. Other manufacturers are not as well positioned (yet) to take advantage of the latest advances in battery tech, so as of now most EVs are still costing more to make. But the difference has already fallen by more than half just in the last five years, and it’s not very risky to predict it will disappear for all makers who have access to reasonably current battery manufacturing tech within the next five.

            You’ll notice that when OEMs announce big splashy investments in EVs, what they are actually announcing is almost always something that is, or is closely related to, battery manufacture.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “but the real volume is going to be in cheaper, lower-ranged EVs that do 95% of the mission.”

      Unless you are thinking they will be priced like a 1920s Model T (about $5K adjusted) I’m not sure where there will be major volume in low-priced 150 mile teardrop cars (in the US anyway).
      Urban folks without a car today probably still won’t want one (they’d still have to pay to park it, insure it, charge it, etc.) The rest of the consumer fleet enjoys their large trucks, CUVs, and SUVs and I don’t see that preference changing just because it runs on batteries.

      If anything cheaper batteries combined with low running costs probably means a future full of giant HUMMERs.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        My prediction is that the EV market is going to shake out into two big segments (each encompassing multiple body styles built on common platforms): the First Car and the Second Car.

        The First Car is going to be mostly big cars with long range (I predict 300+ miles will be the sweet spot, but it could be up to 400) and cargo capacity. These will be as expensive or more as gas cars in similar segments today. even with cheap batteries. Few households will need more than one.

        The Second Car is going to have lower range, and is going to be cheaper than gas cars today. As with any product, lower prices will expand sales. You’ll see a few urban dwellers decide to deal with the parking, etc., but more than that, you’ll see people replacing second cars more often, adding third and fourth cars to households, etc. Some of these will be big and showy because that’s how Americans like their cars. But the common trait will be range that’s sufficient for all urban and suburban daily use, and little more.

        In a mass-market segment (say the midsize CUV segment) I’d expect the First Car version to sell for the price of a gas car today or a bit more, while the Second Car version could be $5K or more off.

        The Second Car segment really won’t appear until the batteries are cheap and people internalize life with EVs.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @dal20402: “until the batteries are cheap ”

          Big battery milestone today. Not a lab breakthrough either. Something real. The first sodium-ion product. As predicted, they’ll start out in power storage sector. That will at least take some pressure off the lithium-ion market. As they improve the density, they’ll find there way into EVs as well. Price is predicted to eventually hit the low 30’s/kWh for the pack price. The packs are really cheap since they don’t need the management lithium-ion does. But, they’re just coming out now. No lithium, no cobalt, no nickel needed. They’re faster charging and more resilient to cold temps too. Now, they’re rolling off assembly lines in real products.

          https://www.bluettipower.com/pages/na300-sodium-ion-power-station

          https://www.reuters.com/technology/chinas-top-ev-battery-maker-catl-touts-new-sodium-ion-batteries-2021-07-29/

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          @dal20402, this is very perceptive post.

          For me, I anticipate my first EV Second Car being someone else’s EV First Car when they are done with it. Even if the range were at 70% of the original First Car figure, it would be a fine Second Car for me – and potentially a much nicer car than any new ‘Second Car’.

          My spouse has observed that a used Leaf (even at 70-80% battery life) would be an ideal around-town vehicle for her (her commute is maybe 4 miles one way). [So her EV Second Car would be someone else’s EV Second Car when they move on to their Next Car.]

          Talked cars recently with my newly-married newly-employed son and mentioned the EV-as-a-Second-Vehicle scenario and he quickly jumped to ‘why not buy a used Model S or similar’ which is kind of where I have been in my mind for awhile. But of course mentioned to him that the used Model S (or similar) is not yet in my ‘range’ price-wise [rimshot] – might be for him. (Just poked around online and we might both be out of luck for now.)

        • 0 avatar
          Bluegas

          That’s not where the market is headed for the vast majority. The chip shortage is going to be here for the long haul. Everything is becoming “connected” while chip manufacturers will never be able to keep up with demand. The push globally is actually towards ride sharing. The used car market has seen their prices sky rocket due to demand. (Mine has increased 10k in just the past year.)
          Cars will continue to climb in price with one of two things happening, incredibly long term loans that look like home loans or they’ll offer a subscription service that is catered to your tax bracket.
          You’ll technically own nothing and most of you will be happy with that.

  • avatar
    GregLocock

    So is this an actual physical drivable vehicle or is it just a big stack of photoshop, CAD, and simulations, with some hardware on order?

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    The Kammback is back – again.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    In profile it almost looks like it has tailfins. I dig it.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Article left out a very interesting fact – So called “UBQ” materials are used in its construction. This stuff could be a game-changer (there’s that phrase again) because it is made from trash. No need to have a separate sorting of recyclables. They use everything, including all to organic material. And unlike a lot of “miracle” developments that have super high costs or consume tons of water/energy to produce, this is actually supposed to be a viable operation. Search “UBQmaterials. Fascinating stuff.

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