The long-distance journey of the VISION EQXX on public roads has demonstrated the performance of Mercedes-Benz’s electric efficiency technology in various real-traffic situations. In addition, R&D experts also get valuable data for ongoing development programs.
VISION EQXX celebrated its first record in April this year. During his first record run, he covered 1,008 km from Stuttgart to Cassis on the French Mediterranean coast. In temperatures between 3 degrees chilly and spring-like 18 degrees Celsius, it completes the journey with an energy consumption of 8.7 kWh/100 km and a mileage remaining on arrival of around 140 km. But once is not enough. To demonstrate real-world capabilities and take the development process to a higher level, the engineering team completed a series of additional vehicles to test the underlying technology of VISION EQXX under various conditions.
This time the circumstances are completely different, for example route profiles. The first stage is through the Alps and contains parts that are demanding in terms of energy consumption and recovery. It didn’t happen on the second trip. Apart from that, there are no low temperatures, but summer temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius, which along with increased traffic around Stuttgart and in the south-east of England are the main challenges during this trip. Nevertheless, the VISION EQXX stays cool at all times, thanks to its innovative thermal management.
Thanks to the efficiency of the electric drive, it produces only minimal residual heat. This helps keep the thermal management very small and light. The interaction between the air valve, coolant valve and pump ensures that the electric motor maintains a highly efficient temperature balance with minimal energy consumption. Airflow management, combined with the cooling plate on the vehicle floor, allows the use of air flowing through the underside of the VISION EQXX. This is the most aerodynamically efficient way to keep electric motors cool under normal conditions, increasing range by about 2 percent in the most aerodynamic modes.
Due to the high outside temperatures and start-stop traffic on the highway, the electric powertrain and interior must be cooled. However, the ‘cooling system on demand’ does so without any significant impact on the range. The multi-source heat pump in the VISION EQXX is proven efficient in keeping the interior temperature cool in hot summer weather. During a travel time of 14 hours 30 minutes, the air conditioner was on for more than 8 hours, with minimal negative impact on overall energy consumption.
On the way to Silverstone, the VISION EQXX stopped at the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team headquarters in Brackley, about 8 miles to the southeast, where it was enthusiastically received by Mercedes-AMG HPP and Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix employees, who played the role important in vehicle construction. Working closely with the engineering team in Stuttgart, Formula 1 and Formula E specialists helped reduce energy loss in the powertrain and developed an entirely new, compact and lightweight battery module.
Following the driver change, HPP Director of Advanced Technology Adam Allsopp took over for the final lap to Silverstone. The importance of driving to the circuit where the first Formula 1TM Grand Prix was held in 1950 clearly impressed him: “Riding this pioneer of the future of electromobility to where the history of Formula 1 began, and where we’ve driven some of the iconic Formula 1 races, is very special for me personally. Completing the Stuttgart trip to Silverstone on a single charge of even greater efficiency is a real sign from the great progress in accelerating the development of the technology that underlies our electrification strategy and the role motorsport has played at Mercedes-Benz over the years. We are very proud”, aldus Allsopp.
Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries welcomed the VISION EQXX on the track. The 27-year-old Dutchman, who has won four Formula E victories in the last two seasons, has a wealth of experience extracting the latest energy from state-of-the-art electric powertrains. So he didn’t waste the VISION EQXX and recorded a top speed of 140 km/h wherever he could on the legendary asphalt. De Vries crossed the finish line after 11 laps and used the last of his strength to advance to the pit lane, covering a distance of 1,202 km. “The VISION EQXX is so much fun to drive. I know what this team is capable of, and it’s an honor to drive such a great vehicle on such a historic track”, smiled DeVries.
“And I can assure you that the interior is definitely much more luxurious than the cockpit of a Formula E car.”
After a brief charge, the VISION EQXX headed to HPP’s headquarters in Brixworth, 20 miles away, for an overnight stay, freshen up, and fully charged in preparation for their next outing this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Because apart from other Mercedes icons from the past, present and future, the VISION EQXX was also the start of that famous hill climb.
With two successful trips of more than 1,000 km behind it, the VISION EQXX has clearly proven its claim to be the most efficient Mercedes. The story doesn’t stop there, however. Work continues on the development of many of the VISION EQXX technologies for use in future series models. For the team responsible for this and collecting valuable data from the exercises, the most important question is: where to go next?