Home Production company Mercedes EQXX electric powertrain to go into production, company promises

Mercedes EQXX electric powertrain to go into production, company promises

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  • Mercedes-Benz unveiled its Vision EQXX concept at the CES tech show this week.
  • The powertrain stands out with a promising range of 620 miles thanks to a compact, energy-dense battery and engine, both developed in-house by Mercedes.
  • With 201 horsepower and a top speed limited to 87 mph, it deviates sharply from the flagship Mercedes image of yore.

    Mercedes has released more details on the pioneering Vision EQXX concept powertrain that was showcased earlier this week, with the company confirming that the first car to use a version of the long-range EV powertrain will be in production by 2024.

    “It’s more than a concept car, it’s a technology program,” CTO Markus Schäfer told reporters in an online call after the unveiling. “Everything in this car will be mass-produced. The battery, for example, is an early prototype of the chemistry you’re going to see in the next generation of concept cars.”

    The improved energy density of the new battery is due to the new generation silicon carbide anodes that Mercedes developed in-house, allowing the EQXX to store energy similar to that of the EQS 107.8 kWh pack in 50% smaller space. Mercedes also plans to use the same technology for smaller capacity packs, which will be lighter and cheaper, but the company’s engineers are also insisting that the EQXX’s claimed 620-mile range will be achievable within daily conditions rather than simple mock tests. “It’s 1000 km on real streets, so the WLTP range [the way Europe measures electric range] will be even higher, ”said Eva Greiner, chief drive system engineer. We are promised that the Vision EQXX will be sent to the real world to prove its ability to deliver these numbers.

    Mercedes manufactured engine

    We’ve also learned that the ultra-efficient 201bhp engine that turns the EQXX’s rear wheels is a radial flow unit that has been developed in-house by Mercedes based on the technology it already uses. Work on it preceded the company’s recent acquisition of Yasa, a UK manufacturer of high-performance axial-flow motors. Merc’s next-generation compact electric vehicles will use this new radial flow unit, with Schäfer confirming the plan is to also offer all-wheel drive by adding a second motor; it is assumed that axial flow motors will therefore be reserved for more efficient models. The EQXX (and the production cars that will share its powertrain) were designed for efficiency rather than pure speed, but even using a single engine Greiner says it can go from zero to 62 mph in Respectable 7.0 seconds, although the concept’s top speed is limited to just 87 mph.

    The relatively modest horsepower of the new engine also allows the battery to use air cooling rather than liquid cooling. This may seem technically backward to the larger EV market, where almost all cars now use liquid cooling (the Nissan Leaf being the notable resistor). But careful temperature management through what is described as a cooling plate at the base of the cell pack means that the EQXX can dispense with the use of a more energy-intensive cooling system, which is part of its incredibly frugal consumption of six miles per kWh. That’s about 50 percent better than the longer-range Tesla, the 405-mile Model S, which gets about four miles per kWh.

    Despite the air-cooled, Schäfer promises that the new powertrain can still support respectable charging speeds, with the targeted ability to support rates that will add at least 186 miles of range in 15 minutes to the when production versions hit the market. He also points out that if you have a battery over 600 miles, you won’t have to worry about recharging it as often.

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