Range and efficiency are set to define the electric era

Stuttgart – Complete with a barrage of innovative and intelligent efficiency measures, including advanced software, VISION EQXX allows us to explore new frontiers of efficiency.

“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 kilometers. It has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers 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.” Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG

Designed for the road trip to electromobility

There’s a reason why road trips have been a cultural touchstone for at least 70 years, telling stories from the highway in books, movies and music. The road trip defines freedom, individuality, the very spirit of the automobile and the passing world. Stick a pin in the map – and drive. Be in tune with the tarmac, and with the car. This urge to explore, discover and revel in the world beyond our horizon is part of what it is to be human. It’s the pioneering spirit that pairs vision with the tenacity to make it happen.

The journey to electric mobility is a road trip; as exhilarating as it is challenging, as unknown as it is certain. The Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX is a vehicle designed for that road trip. It answers the progressive demands of a modern generation of customers for and emotionality through innovation. Part of a far-reaching technology program, this software-defined research prototype was engineered by women and men with the creativity, ingenuity and determination to deliver one of the planet’s most efficient cars – in every respect. They did so using the latest digital technology, the agility of a start-up and the speed of Formula 1.

The result is an efficiency masterpiece that, based on internal digital simulations in real-life traffic conditions, will be capable of exceeding 1,000 kilometers on a single charge with an outstanding energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (efficiency of more than 6 miles per kWh).

By ripping up the automotive engineering rule book, Mercedes-Benz has built a software-driven electric car that re-imagines the road trip for the electric era. At the same time, it presents a highly progressive interpretation of the fundamental Mercedes-Benz principles of modern luxury and Sensual Purity. Rather than simply increasing the size of the battery, the cross-functional, international team focused on maximizing long-distance efficiency. They pulled out all the stops in drivetrain efficiency, energy density, aerodynamics and lightweight design.

“The technology program behind the VISION EQXX will define and enable future Mercedes-Benz models and features,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes‑Benz AG, Chief Technology Officer responsible for Development and Procurement. “As a halo car, the VISION EQXX firmly establishes Mercedes-Benz as the brand that pairs luxury with technology in the automotive world and beyond. And the way we developed it is as revolutionary as the vehicle itself. VISION EQXX has seen the best minds from our R&D centers work together with engineers from our Formula 1 and Formula E programs. They are proving that innovations from motorsport – where powertrains are already highly electrified – have immediate relevance for road car development. We are challenging current development processes with innovative spirit and outside-the-box thinking. This truly is the way forward.”

The VISION EQXX is an exciting, inspirational, yet completely realistic way forward for electric vehicle technology. In addition to its ground-breaking energy efficiency, it offers meaningful answers to pressing issues. For instance, sustainable materials throughout cut the carbon footprint considerably. 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. And the software-led development process that delivered it revolutionizes the way electric cars are designed.

This car is one outcome of an ongoing program that is delivering a blueprint for the future of automotive engineering. Many of its features and developments are already being integrated into production, including the next generation of the MMA – the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture for compact and medium-sized cars.

Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, exterior

A car with a mission – the most efficient Mercedes-Benz ever built

Efficiency means achieving more from less. The VISION EQXX is packed with efficiency improvements that push the envelope with a mixture of advanced technology and talented teamwork. The outcome will be a road-legal research prototype that delivers more range from less energy, more tangible luxury and convenience with less impact on nature, and more electric mobility with less waste. A raft of digital tools and a software-led approach also delivered more car in less time.

#EnergyWizard: Across the board, efficiency engineering achievements delivered an astounding energy consumption of less than 10 kWh per 100 km (efficiency of more than 6 miles per kWh)

#ElectricDrive: Radical new system designed and built in-house – it achieves benchmark efficiency of 95% from battery to wheels

#RangeBuster: More than 1,000 km (over 620 miles)[4]  on a single charge on public roads puts an end to range anxiety

#EnergyDensity: With expert engineering and Formula 1 thinking, our battery chemists squeezed the energy of the EQS into the dimensions of a compact car. 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.

#AeroChamp: Exterior designers and aerodynamicists delivered a #benchmark drag coefficient of cd 0.17[5]

#SustainableMaterials: Innovative recycled and plant-based materials remove waste from landfill and lower carbon footprint

#UpliftMindset: A pioneering team of Mercedes-Benz engineers worked with the world’s fastest race lab at High-Performance Powertrains (HPP) and Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix (MGP) to engineer a highly efficient and compact electric drivetrain and lightweight battery case

#BionicEngineering: Inspired by natural forms and in partnership with innovative start-ups, engineers used advanced digital tools to lower weight and reduce waste by removing excess material assisted by 3D printing

#RollingEfficiency: Ultra-low-rolling-resistance tires with optimized aerodynamic geometry combine with lightweight magnesium wheels for increased range

#BrakingLightly: Lightweight brake discs made from aluminum alloy are a great fit for the VISION EQXX and help keep weight down

#EfficiencyOnTheRoad: Electric-only chassis with lightweight F1 subframe brings racing efficiency to the road

#SolarPower: Ultra-thin roof panels feed the battery system for up to 25 km of extra range

#HumanMachineMerge: Intuitive and intelligent user interface and user experience with guidance and assistance for efficient driving brings even closer harmony for the electric age

#SensualPurity: Totally focused EV exterior/interior design ethos underlines role as halo car for the all-electric future. Mercedes-Benz will build the most desirable cars

#FastTechProg: From clean sheet to on-the-road in just 18 months. The VISION EQXX is part of a technology program that can adapt innovative technologies for series production faster than ever before

#Transformation: VISION EQXX demonstrates Mercedes-Benz transformation into an all-electric and software-driven company

#SoftwareDriven: Software-driven approach key to success in achieving efficiency goals and a rapid development process, including ground-breaking battery management system.

#GlobalResponsibleLeadership: VISION EQXX accelerates Mercedes-Benz goal to “Lead in Electric” and set benchmarks in sustainable mobility.

An efficiency assistant works together with the driver, curating information to support an efficient driving style. An orb graphic provides an instinctive overview.
An efficiency assistant works together with the driver, curating information to support an efficient driving style. An orb graphic provides an instinctive overview.

Efficiency is the new currency

At its heart, efficiency means achieving more from less. This is nothing new – Mercedes-Benz has always strived for efficiency in its vehicles, achieving massive technological strides over the decades. These have benefitted consumers through consistent improvements in fuel consumption, comfort and convenience. However, the imperatives of electric mobility and sustainability have shifted the framework for efficiency.

The most familiar expression of automotive efficiency is that of fuel consumption or fuel economy. This is expressed in different ways depending on where we are in the world (e.g. liters per 100 kilometers, miles per gallon or kilometers per liter). Regardless of convention, they all relate units of fuel (energy) with units of distance. Electric mobility is no different in that respect.

By making efficiency the new currency, Mercedes-Benz has created a common denominator for quantifying technological development across the board – beyond fuel efficiency alone. As well as meaning more range from less energy, it also means more tangible luxury and convenience with less impact on nature, and more electric mobility with less waste.

The VISION EQXX demonstrates that this is all within reach in a real-world vehicle that pushes the envelope on all fronts. It gives Mercedes-Benz customers a clear insight into what premium efficiency for the electric and digital era looks like and feels like. Beautiful design and intuitive operation enhanced by advanced digital technologies deliver sustainable, long-haul electric mobility that has Mercedes-Benz written all over it.

“The XX suffix augments the Mercedes-Benz brand with the X-factor of electric mobility that thinks beyond limitations, and an agile, X-divisional collaborative development approach,” explains Markus Schäfer, continuing: “This enhances the breadth and depth of development skills within Mercedes-Benz AG with highly advanced digital tools as well as industry-leading expertise from a diverse array of partner companies, start-ups and institutions around the world.”

From its innovative drivetrain to its lightweight “bionic” structure, and from its ingenious thermal management to its serenely slipstreaming exterior, the efficiency engineering in every single detail adds up to the remarkable energy consumption and real-world range of the VISION EQXX.

“Electric range sounds easy but is a complex technical challenge. The easiest way is to put a bigger battery in the car. However, this leads to diminishing returns due to size and weight. This is definitely not the smartest route and it’s also not the best use of scarce resources. With the VISION EQXX, we’re presenting the results of an extraordinary challenge: we pushed efficiency to a totally new level. And we explored new ways to increase the range of an electric car.” Joerg Bartels, Vice President for Vehicle Engineering and Overall Vehicle Functions.

This remarkable project went from white paper to completed vehicle in just 18 months. It drew talent not only from Stuttgart but also from Formula 1 and a diverse array of start-ups, partners and institutions from around the world into a cross-functional, multi-disciplinary team. Sparring with one another, they applied the latest technologies and thinking to develop advanced, high-efficiency solutions with real-world potential for the near future.

Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, exterior

Pioneering drivetrain for the electric era – waste not, want not

On any road trip, it’s the car that does the work – soaking up the miles and leaving the driver and passengers to experience the journey. In the long-haul mindset that makes the VISION EQXX so special, efficiency is king.

With output of around 150 kW, the super-efficient electric drivetrain (encompassing everything from battery to electric drive unit to wheels) in the VISION EQXX provides the power and stamina underpinning this exceptional long-distance runner. More than a composition of individual parts, it is a work of engineering art in its own right. Tasked with a very clear and specific set of targets, the team set out to create an electric drivetrain with a world-beating combination of efficiency, energy density and lightweight engineering. So, let’s throw in a figure here – 95% efficiency. That means up to 95% of the energy from the battery ends up at the wheels – pure and simple. Compare that to just 30% from even the most efficient ICE drivetrain or around 50% from an average (human) long-distance runner.

The Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in Brixworth (United Kingdom) know a thing or two about making every kilojoule of energy count. In an intense collaboration, Mercedes-Benz R&D worked with them hand-in-hand to redesign the drivetrain and slash the system losses.

“One of the best ways to improve efficiency is to reduce losses,” explains Eva Greiner, chief engineer of the electric drive system at Mercedes-Benz. “We worked on every part of the system to reduce energy consumption and losses through system design, material selection, lubrication and heat management. And our fantastic simulation tools helped us find out quickly what works and what doesn’t.”

The electric drive unit in the VISION EQXX is a dedicated unit consisting of the electric motor, transmission and power electronics featuring a new generation of silicon carbides. The power electronics unit is based on the one in the upcoming Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar.

Source