Range anxiety is rapidly becoming a thing of the past with a constant increase in distance between charges in newer models of electric cars.
oyota unveiled their concept bZ4X on Monday – an electric car that can help recharge batteries using solar power. Audi unveiled its electric A6 e-tron concept: the new Sportback has a claimed range of more than 700kms.
It uses completely new technology architecture (PPE) which will underpin a broad range of vehicles into the future.
Mercedes set a range headline by claiming their new EQS, due here in September, can cover 770km on one charge. That’s getting into 2-litre diesel cruising territory.
They also claim battery costs will fall due to economies of scale. There are two battery sizes: 107.8kW and 90kW with a 12-year warranty.
It is the first Mercedes designed from the ground up as an electric saloon. A new platform will be used for all their top models. Among future planned arrivals are two electric SUVs and two saloons, all presumably with long-distance, single-charge ability.
The EQS is aimed at current S-Class, Maybach owners who want an electric car – as well as new buyers. There will be a 762PS AMG performance version later.
There’s a huge MBUX hyperscreen – it spans the entire width of the cabin. The area on the front passenger side turns off if the seat isn’t occupied. For the driver, 90pc of what you need is in thefirst menu, we’re told. Voice control and heads-up display remove distraction. As you’d expect, there’s a lot of interior space.
With 200kw fast charging you can regain 300km of range in 15 minutes.
There are more than 40 new inventions and 20 new design applications. The batteries are made in-house by Mercedes and they claim better charging performance and significantly higher energy density.
There will be two variants: a rear-wheel-drive EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive version.
Besides antennas, there are up to 350 sensors to monitor functions as well as driver eye movements and language.
Back to Audi, they are introducing new electric vehicles at a rate of knots. Due here in June are the compact SUV Audi Q4 e-tron and its Sportback e-tron companion. Prices will start from €41,465.
The highest performance battery produces 220 kW and can hit 100kmh in under 6.3 seconds. Models with 125kW take just 38 minutes to refill from 5pc to 80pc. Range varies from 330kms to 520kms.
There will be three variants: Q4 35 urban, Q4 40 (up to 520km), and a Sportback expected to go to 528km.
At 4.59 metres long, the cars have the interior space of a higher class. Rear-seat room is as good as a Q7 due to the absence of a centre tunnel. And the 520-litre boot compares with the Q5. Storage compartments around the cabin have around 25 litres of capacity.
There is a 50mm lower ride height due to the sports suspension while the 10.2m turning circle is smaller than an A1.
The new steering wheel lets the driver control the digital instrument cluster. Infotainment and navigation are operated primarily using the central MMI touch display.
It boasts the first augmented-reality heads-up display.
Audi say they plan several more EVs in the near future.