Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future of personal transport and almost every car brand has now got a fully electric model on sale or in the pipeline. Even in South Africa, EVs are gaining popularity and a nationwide network of charging stations is being set up. Mercedes-Benz recently revealed their latest EV in their current line-up – called the Vision EQXX.
But what sets this car apart from the rapidly-expanding list of electric competitors? Range anxiety (or the lack thereof). Most EV owners experience what has become known as ‘range anxiety’; the worry over whether the battery will last until your destination.
Most EVs have a range between 300km and 600km between charges. So, could you get from Johannesburg to Durban on a single charge – a distance of around 570km? This range anxiety is a distinguishing feature of each and every EV that is launched to market. Car brands go to great lengths to highlight their EV range.
The Mercedes-Benz EQXX recently completed a journey of over 1000km on a single charge! That’s the distance between Johannesburg and Gqeberha. This incredible achievement by Mercedes is proof that battery technology, aerodynamics and EVs are becoming more capable as daily drivers.
Mercedes-Benz is a direct customer of Formex Industries. The automotive components that we manufacture are used on various models produced in East London. The success of the EQXX signifies the future of the motoring industry and is an exciting opportunity for Formex and other automotive manufacturers.
The Vision EQXX 1000km journey
This mammoth journey took place between Sindelfingen, Germany, and Cassis, France. The Vision EQXX was charged for 12 hours and set off to tackle the traffic, construction zones and open roads between the two European towns. Although the Vision EQXX is a working prototype, it’s a super-aerodynamic EV that is designed to slip through the air effortlessly.
The EV is powered by a 100-kilowatt-hour battery and the teardrop shape of the body allows the car to minimise its drag, which is a vital component in determining maximum range. This is also why the car has a low nose, wheel covers and an abrupt rear end. Its power consumption is claimed to be 10 kWh per 100km, hence the 1000km range.
The Vision EQXX is also equipped with regenerative braking, which converts the kinetic energy as the car slows down into electrical energy that is fed into the battery. This helps to add a charge to the battery as the car slows down and extends the range. There are various levels of regeneration from which the driver can select. This will increase or decrease the ‘engine braking’ feel as you lift off the accelerator.
More features of the Vision EQXX
This experimental Mercedes-Benz employs solar cells to power auxiliary features of the car, including the infotainment system, GPS, power outlets and speakers. This genius solution allows the battery to be designated to the wheels and the range. While it’s not the first EV to include solar power, it does set the tone for the future possibilities of combined renewable energy in vehicles.
The Vision EQXX will not be the badge that you see on the final production models. The XX will be replaced by other letters to match the current Mercedes-Benz naming convention. For example, we are likely to see a Vision EQS when the model is launched. Mercedes currently has several EVs on offer in South Africa.
For more information about our automotive components and products, please contact us today.
Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and the export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.
Formex is a supplier with 69% black ownership, of which 37% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
Follow us on Facebook for the latest industry news and features relating to our products and services.