Next month, Mercedes-Benz will unveil online its Vision EQXX, which could be an electric game-changer—especially if it reaches the twin goals of 621 miles of range (1,000 kilometers) and the most efficient EV ever. The car will subsequently be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES,in Las Vegas from Jan. 5 to 8.
The company released a profile photograph showing a very aerodynamic sedan. There are some visual similarities to the Concept IAA that Mercedes showed in 2015, but the EQXX looks much closer to an actual production car.
Lucid made a splash in September when the Environmental Protection Agency certified its Air sedan’s 520 miles of range. Mercedes thinks it can top that. There was talk that the EQXX could make it the 750 miles from Beijing to Shanghai on a single charge. The EQXX will be on the stand at CES, but it will still be a concept car with no production intent, far from consumer driveways. It’s an exercise designed to show where Mercedes-Benz is going as a company.
In a LinkedIn post, Markus Shäfer, a member of the board of management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, as well as chief technology officer, said the company, indeed the entire auto industry, “must completely reimagine the car in the context of electromobility. The automobile as we have come to know it until now has been the product of 130 years of continuous development. What we have achieved so far has been amazing, but progress with electric cars must move faster—much faster…Our Vision EQXX is more than a show car, it is an interdisciplinary technology program. We are scrutinizing every efficiency building block and not just focusing on individual elements.”
To make the EQXX as efficient as possible, Shäfer said, software and design are working closely together, and innovations in electric drive technologies are also being shared from the company’s Formula One powertrain team. Use of sustainable materials and an effort to make the car as light as possible are also part of the mix. The company’s production EQS EV already has a very low coefficient of drag, 0.20, comparable to the Lucid Air, and the EQXX could be even better.
And then there’s battery tech. According to Shäfer, “We are also working on increasing the energy density at the cell level by a further 20 percent compared to the EQS.” The EQS has range of up to 350 miles, which is good but not stellar in today’s competitive environment.
Mercedes’ commitment to electrification can’t be doubted. By 2022, there will be a battery car in every segment served by the company. All its new platforms will be electric-only by 2025, when it will launch three new EV “architectures.” The company will be all-electric by the end of the decade, “where market conditions allow.” And it’s building eight “gigafactory” battery plants around the globe (four of them in Europe alone), with a total cell capacity of more than 200 gigawatt hours.
“The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG