Vision EQXX from Mercedes-Benz completes road trip from Riyadh to Dubai on a single charge

Trip delivers key data and is a record for the car company

The Vision EQXX left Riyadh at 4.15am with a full battery and still had 309km of range left when it arrived in Dubai at 7.57pm.

Mercedes-Benz has raised the bar for vehicle electrification after completing an Arabian Desert road trip of more than 1,000km on a single charge.

The German vehicle brand’s Vision EQXX concept car also delivered “groundbreaking energy efficiency” of 7.4kWh/100km on its latest long-distance electric journey from the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh to Dubai in the UAE.

This was the company’s third road trip of at least 1,000km on a single charge.

Findings from the journey demonstrated maximum electrical energy efficiency and will feed into the ongoing development of Mercedes-Benz electric platforms to meet customer needs worldwide.

Route and temperatures no obstacle

Even the Arabian Desert proved to be no obstacle to that efficiency as the Vision EQXX technology programme tackled a challenging route profile encompassing busy city streets and open desert roads.

Power consumption of 7.4kWh/100km (8.4m/kWh) is equal to about 0.9 l/100km or 282 MPGe for a petrol-fuelled vehicle, says the company.

Furthermore, in ambient temperatures of up to 34°C (93°F), the Vision EQXX beat its own previous best by a considerable margin.

Markus Schafer, Mercedes-Benz Group's chief technology officer, said the Vision EQXX continued to provide valuable data for the ongoing development of advanced electric efficiency technologies.

“As expected, all systems performed perfectly in the desert conditions, handling challenges such as road surface finish and temperature as well as dust with ease … further proof that electric drive is ready for global markets,” he said.

Riyadh to Dubai

The starting point for the latest efficiency test trip on the Arabian Peninsula was the Mercedes-Benz Centre in Riyadh - and the destination was the recently opened Mercedes-Benz Brand Centre in Dubai.

The route - 1,010km (627.6 miles) - was completed in 14 hours and 42 minutes.

The Vision EQXX left Riyadh at 4.15am with a full battery; the vehicle still had 309km of range remaining when it arrived in Dubai at 7.57pm.

The route incorporated urban and sub-urban sections in Riyadh and Dubai with heavy traffic as well as lengthy motorway sections across the open desert.

Michael Stroband, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East, said that embarking on an electric drive from Riyadh to Dubai was not “just about reaching a destination”.

He said: “It’s about igniting a transformative journey for the Middle East.

“The Vision EQXX’s groundbreaking drive not only symbolises our commitment to shaping the future of mobility but also fills me with immense pride that this record was achieved in the region.

“In navigating this transformative path we’re setting new benchmarks, reinforcing our technology leadership in electric mobility.”

The vehicle has twice proven its ability to cover well over 1,000km on a single charge ‘real world’ trip.

Other trips completed

Previously it was driven from Sindelfingen, Germany, across the Swiss Alps and northern Italy to Cassis, on France’s Cote d’Azur, and then a 1,202km road trip from German city Stuttgart to UK motor racing town of Silverstone.

This latest road trip was intended to maximise efficiency in all areas and examine system performance under extreme desert conditions.

In dry desert heat of up to 34°C, the car’s advanced thermal management was of particular interest.

The intelligent on-demand system kept the electric drivetrain and the cabin cool. And the vehicle’s air-conditioning system was operational during the trip with minimal negative impact on energy efficiency, thanks in part to the multi-source heat pump.

A further developed version of this heat pump is integrated into the Concept CLA Class. Unveiled at IAA Mobility 2023, that close-to-production concept previews the model family based on the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture and benefits from wide-ranging technology transfer from the Vision EQXX.

Relentless desert sun also allowed engineers the opportunity to examine the performance of the Vision EQXX solar roof – 117 solar cells are used to power many of the ancillaries, reducing energy drain on the high-voltage system and further improving overall efficiency.

The drive to Dubai saw the system harvest 1.8kWh of solar energy, adding approximately 24km to the range, and research continues into the series-production benefits of this technology.

Data gathered on the influence of wind and sun on efficiency was also relevant for comparative analysis with previous test drives, alongside the temperature of the Sun, measurements even included the angle and direction of sunlight.

Mercedes-Benz cites one of the most important factors in the efficiency of any vehicle as the person behind the wheel.

So the driving team it used on the trip were highly experienced experts with specific testing tasks.

To help maximise energy efficiency, they took full advantage of the car’s intelligent efficiency assistant, which curates a wide range of available information and suggests the most efficient driving style in real time.

This includes data such as the direction and intensity of the Sun and wind. For example, the system helped the drivers adjust their speed accordingly during challenging crosswinds along the UAE coast.

For maximum solar yield during stops, the team parked the Vision EQXX in alignment with the Sun using the solar information display (Tech View).

More than two years after it was unveiled, Mercedes-Benz says the Vision EQXX remains an “eye-catching crowd puller”.

During that time, it has covered 23,340km (14,503m) in a test of its pioneering electric technology under a wide range of demanding real-life conditions.

In a region often associated with super sports cars and full-size SUVs, the compact dimensions and sleek proportions of the Vision EQXX draw intense interest, says the manufacturer.

The slippery drag co-efficient of just 0.17 pairs with a sophisticated fastback design to represent a “highly desirable ambassador for electric mobility”. Likewise, with charging infrastructure still sparse in many parts of the world, this was a valuable opportunity to demonstrate long-range electric efficiency under real-life conditions, which Mercedes-Benz says is another important aspect of its electrification strategy.

In addition to the road trips, the company has also taken the Vision EQXX to audiences in the US and China, giving key global target groups a chance to experience a “realistic, road-going example of luxurious and sustainable electric efficiency”.

Updated: May 04, 2024, 10:41 AM