Mercedes-Benz, the German luxury car brand has revealed a new technology blueprint at CES 2022 in Las Vegas with the reveal of the Vision EQXX concept EV. It is said to be designed to deliver more than 1,000 kilometres on a single charge (based on internal digital simulations in real-life traffic conditions) with an energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers. This converts into 6 miles per kWh. Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that it has achieved all of this through cutting-edge electric drivetrain as well as the use of lightweight engineering and sustainable materials.
Its UI/UX features a radical new one-piece display that comes to life with responsive real-time graphics and spans the entire width of the vehicle. Other elements of the UI/UX help the car and driver work together as one, and even use technology that mimics the workings of the human brain. Reportedly, the battery pack in the VISION EQXX holds almost 100 kWh of energy, yet has 50% less volume and is 30% lighter than the already benchmark pack in EQS.
Mercedes-Benz and the HPP team developed a completely new battery pack for the VISION EQXX, achieving a remarkable energy density of close to 400 Wh/l. This benchmark figure is what made it possible to fit a battery pack with just under 100 kWh of usable energy into the compact dimensions of the VISION EQXX. Another feature that contributed to the impressive energy density is the high level of integration in the battery pack. This platform, developed jointly by Mercedes-Benz R&D and HPP, created more room for cells and helped reduce the overall weight. The separate compartment for the electrical and electronic (EE) components, called the OneBox, likewise made more room for cells, with added benefits for installation and removal. The OneBox also incorporates novel safety devices with energy-efficient operations that consume significantly less energy than the equivalent component in a production EV. The battery also features active cell balancing, which means drawing the energy evenly from the cells while the car is driving – in effect, giving it greater stamina. Overall, the battery weighs around 495 kilograms, including the OneBox.
The carefully engineered interaction of aero-shutters, coolant valves and water pumps ensures the electric drive unit, comprising the power electronics, electric motor and transmission, maintains the most efficient temperature balance at minimum energy cost. Technically, this system is a combination of an innovative air-flow management system and a cooling plate. The cooling plate is installed in the vehicle floor, enabling it to take advantage of the air flowing along the underside of the VISION EQXX. This is the most aerodynamically efficient way of keeping the electric drive unit cool under normal conditions, allowing the vehicle to gain about 20 kilometres of range in the most aerodynamic mode.
The electric system that powers many of the ancillaries in the VISION EQXX draws additional energy from 117 solar cells on the roof. It was developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE – Europe’s largest solar energy research institute. The net result of reducing the energy drain on the high-voltage system is an increase in range. On a single day and under ideal conditions, this can add up to 25 km of range on long-distance journeys.
For the VISION EQXX Mercedes-Benz engineers worked in cooperation with Bridgestone. Together, they took advantage of Bridgestone’s Turanza Eco tyre combined with lightweight and environmentally friendly ENLITEN and ologic technology enabling ultra-low-rolling-resistance.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes‑Benz AG, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Development and Procurement said, “VISION EQXX has seen the best minds from our R&D centres work together with engineers from our Formula 1 and Formula E programmes. They are proving that innovations from motorsport – where powertrains are already highly electrified – have immediate relevance for road car development.”
Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG said, “The Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX is how we imagine the future of electric cars. Just one-and-a-half years ago, we started this project leading to the most efficient Mercedes-Benz ever built – with an outstanding energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometres. It has a range of more than 1,000 kilometres on a single charge using a battery that would fit even into a compact vehicle. The VISION EQXX is an advanced car in so many dimensions – and it even looks stunning and futuristic. With that, it underlines where our entire company is headed: We will build the world’s most desirable electric cars.”
The VISION EQXX is part of a technology programme that can adapt innovative technologies for series production faster than ever before. This concept vehicle was developed from a clean sheet to an on-road compliant one in 18 months.
VISION EQXX: key technical data at a glance
|Battery energy content, usable||kWh||<100|
|Max. system voltage||Volts||>900|
|Energy consumption||kWh/100 km(miles/kWh)||<10(>6)|
|Max. power output||kW||~150|
|Gross vehicle weight||kg||~1,750|