Mercedes' record-breaking Vision EQXX just clocked up over 620 miles on a single charge… with the A/C on

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX
(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

The Mercedes-Benz EQXX EV tech demonstrator has just set a new precedent for EV range by tackling a grueling 627.6-mile (over 1,000km) road trip across the Arabian Peninsula on a single charge of its 100kWh battery pack.

The Vision EQXX, which is very much a concept vehicle for now, is driven by a single permanent magnet synchronous motor, which produces around 240bhp and is capable of a 0-62mph sprint time of around 6.8 seconds.

Pretty impressive, but this car has been designed and developed with maximum range in mind and as such, packs some seriously swopping, aerodynamic exterior styling and 117 solar cells on the roof, which support the high-voltage electrical system.

According to engineers from Mercedes, the solar system harvested 1.8 kWh of solar energy on the epic road trip, equating to an additional 15-miles of electric range.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Although this isn't the longest route the EQXX has managed, having previously travelled from Stuttgart to Silverstone (1202km, or 746.89 miles), it is arguably the most grueling test of any EV, as the trip included both densely-populated urban traffic Riyadh and Dubai, as well as intensely hot desert driving on the dusty and often sub-optimal open roads.

What's more, the German automaker says the purpose of the trip was to "maximize efficiency in all areas and examine system performance under extreme desert conditions". That meant relying on the intelligent cooling system to keep both the drivetrain and cabin cool when exposed to lengthy spells of 34 degrees Celsius heat (93.2 Fahrenheit). 

The air conditioning was switched on for the duration of the trip, highlighting that Mercedes' heavily reworked heat pump and thermal management system has "minimal negative impact on energy efficiency", according to its maker.

This system, which was also integrated into the recent Concept CLA Class (unveiled at the IAA Mobility last year) looks set to feature in future EVs from the German marque and could greatly increase range.

Danger danger, high mileage

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Mercedes-Benz says the average moving speed of the record was 49.3mph, which is mightily impressive given the fact the concept vehicle had to crawl through busy traffic in both Riyadh and Dubai. This clearly wasn't some snail’s pace marathon in order to post impressive economy figures, despite the vehicle topping out at just 87mph.

However, the EQXX is clearly a technology demonstrator with some very fancy bodywork (a drag coefficient of just 0.17) and priceless onboard-tech in order to assist with eking the most out of its battery packs. 

But while this demonstrates a "road-going example of luxurious and sustainable electric efficiency", according to Mercedes-Benz, it will also refine technology that is highly likely to be passed on to much more affordable and attainable Merc models in the very near future.

If EVs can start getting close to 620 miles on a single charge, range anxiety will be become a mere footnote in the history of electric vehicle uptake.

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Leon Poultney

Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.