The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX has beat its own EV range record by traveling over 746 miles on a single battery charge. The Vision EQXX had driven 626 miles on one charge in April of this year, but there was enough range left (about 15 percent state of charge) to take another shot at the record. So, this latest journey saw the Vision EQXX travel 1,202 kilometers from Stuttgart, Germany to Silverstone, UK under real-world conditions, according to Mercedes-Benz.
Among those conditions were summer temperatures higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit and heavy traffic. Of course, the Vision EQXX is far from being a real-world EV, since it’s still just a concept vehicle. Think of the Vision EQXX as proof of concept for long-range EVs. The idea being whatever tech Mercedes develops for the EQXX may eventually produce a (commercially) viable model with significantly greater range than that of current EVs — from Mercedes or its competitors, alike.
For reference, the Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan — one of the brand’s electric cars in the U.S. — has a range starting at 350 miles and topping out at 487 miles. That’s a decent range, and yet M-B is after more efficiency. But any comparison between the EQXX and EQS Sedan is not as straightforward as it would seem.
For starters, the EQS is less interested in range than in performance. That much is obvious with models like the AMG EQS Sedan, which trades range for speed. A regular EQS Sedan will make 329 horsepower while the AMG makes 649 hp, or 751 hp using its boost function. That massive difference in output knocks the AMG’s max range down to 277 miles.
Meanwhile, the Vision EQXX makes just over 200 hp. During this latest long-distance drive, Formula E pilot Nyck de Vries pushed the EV up to 87 mph, and the average speed over the journey was 52 mph. That’s far from the ludicrous performance we usually associate with EVs. But it’s not just about speed: the EQXX is lighter and more aerodynamic than other Mercedes EVs.
Range is nonetheless among the top three concerns for prospective EV buyers in the U.S., so Mercedes is not wrong to focus on longer range by maximizing efficiency through aerodynamic design and thermal regulation. In fact, the project strikes me as an exercise in hyper-miling but with EVs. For example, Mercedes cites the energy consumption from the air conditioning, which was on for just over 8 hours on the 14.5-hour journey. There was no mention of the use of onboard electronics that might drain the battery, like whether or not the silly MBUX hyperscreen is limited to certain uses.
I want to say that the industry hardly needs an EV with a 746-mile range, but until EV infrastructure improves, I (mostly) don’t blame drivers for wanting more range. And the Vision EQXX is doing a lot of things right, like its attempt to be lighter and slower. Imagine what Mercedes-Benz, and other carmakers, could do if they took that similar approach with their current EVs.