Driving range is a critical issue for electric cars, especially since charging stations still aren’t as common as gas stations. Thankfully, the maximum range on EVs is continuing to improve, as proven by a recent test from Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz built an experimental concept electric car earlier this year, called the Vision EQXX, intended for testing new battery and cooling technology. The car completed a 626-mile trip in Europe back in April, which was already an impressive feat, but another test was just completed that pushed the car to 747 miles (1,202 km).
The trip is especially impressive when compared to the typical range on current production EVs. Tesla’s Model S can reach 405 miles (652 km) on a single charge with the standard 19-inch Tempest wheels, while the pricier Lucid Air is rated for 520 miles (837 km).
The car was driven from Stuttgart, France to Silverstone, England (close to Northampton), taking it across the border of France and through the Channel Tunnel. Importantly, the test reflected typical driving conditions in populated areas, with varying traffic speeds that usually reduce efficiency in electric cars. The car was also driving in temperatures of up to 86°F (30°C), and the drivers had air conditioning running for “just over eight hours” of the 14.5-hour trip.
That test might push the Vision EQXX to first place in the race for electric car efficiency, but Mercedes-Benz’s real-world test can’t be easily compared to most other record-holders. Guiness’ record for non-solar EVs currently belongs to ‘The Phoenix’, which drove for 999.5 miles (1,608.4 km) without stopping in 2017, but that car only drove in circles on a track — a much different test than stop-and-go traffic in densely-populated areas.
Mercedes-Benz cited a few features in the Vision EQXX that improved efficiency. The car has a cooling system with a plate installed in the vehicle floor that takes “advantage of the air flowing along the underside,” as well as a multi-source heat pump for improved air conditioning. The frame of the car is also more aerodynamic than your typical sedan, with extended fins on the back.
The Vision EQXX is a concept car that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t plan to sell commercially. However, the company is planning to bring some technology from the car to production vehicles.