Tesla usually faces a lot of interesting and challenging metrics from competitors, especially in terms of range and speed. With the Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX hitting a major milestone with more than 1,000 km (620 mi) driven on a single charge earlier this week, many may be wondering if Tesla’s engineers are scrambling to try and launch some new electric vehicles with a 2,000 km range. I can assure you that they are not.
The achievements of Mercedes-Benz in the electric vehicle program should not be underestimated. As the luxury carmaker works to develop and expand its EQ lineup, which will consist of fully electric and partly electric cars, Mercedes is definitely coming out with some interesting and eye-catching records and strengths, especially referenced in its latest set of reviews and ratings for semi-autonomous driving functions. Its latest release from April 13 tells the story of the VISION EQXX and how it drove 626 total miles on a charge.
“We did it! Running over 1,000 km easily on a single battery charge and consuming just 8.7 kWh/100 km (7.1 kWh per 62 miles) in real-world traffic conditions,” Ola Källenius, Charman of the Board of Management for Mercedes-Benz Group AG, he said. “The VISION EQXX is the most efficient Mercedes ever. The technology program behind it represents a milestone in the development of electric vehicles. It supports our strategic goal of ‘leading in the field of electrification’.”
Traveling on a road across Germany and Italy, through the towns and cities of Sindelfingen, Gotthard Tunnel, Milan and Cassis, 11 hours and 32 minutes of driving time successfully completed his 626-mile journey on a single charge.
Many people interested in electric cars might think, “That’s just another thing that Tesla took a beating.” “It’s only a matter of time before others do it too.” “Tesla won’t achieve this, it’s stuck in the 400-mile range threshold.”
Tesla, as a company, will probably be excited that other companies are doing these endurance cycles so they don’t have to. If the auto industry in 2022 is the same as it was in 2010: a gas-engine-dominated segment with relatively no electric options, then sure, perhaps Tesla will care. But maybe not. The electric vehicle industry landscape has become so obsessed with these incredible scales that many consumers forget they won’t need more than 600 miles of range. How many gas car drivers who go to a dealership think, “I wouldn’t buy a car unless you gave me 620 miles of driving on a tank?”
Even CEO Elon Musk recently stated that having “too big” range isn’t necessarily a good thing for electric cars.
“We could have made a 600-mile Model S 12 months ago, but that would have made the product worse, because 99.9% of the time it would hold an unnecessary battery block, making acceleration, handling and efficiency worse,” Musk said recently. With a range of more than 400 miles than almost anyone uses.” ABC News He says the average American only travels sixteen miles a day for work. Even US Census data says that Americans only spend about 27.6 minutes driving to work one way.
Tesla stuck to that perspective for some time. “Mass is the enemy of both efficiency and performance, and reducing the weight of every component is an ongoing goal for our design and engineering teams,” said a blog post announcing the 400-mile Model S in June 2020. “Several lessons from engineering and manufacturing design and manufacturing for the Model 3 and Model Y to the Model S and Model X. This opened up new areas for reducing mass while maintaining superior feel and performance for both cars. Additional weight savings were also achieved by standardizing Tesla interior seating and lighter materials used in the battery pack and drive units.”
While there is certainly no reason to knock on Mercedes-Benz’s achievements, there should be a relative sense of what is ultimately appropriate in terms of EV range. Endurances are perfectly legitimate and interesting ways to demonstrate battery and efficiency metrics, but they’re not something electric car companies will look at in the future. Successful automakers will focus on avoiding supply chain issues, ramping up battery supply chain manufacturing, becoming more vertically integrated, and creating price parity between electric vehicles and their gas counterparts.
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