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Want an electric car that can drive from Melbourne to Sydney on a single charge? The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept could be the car that solves range anxiety

The drag coefficient of the Vision EQXX is a slippery 0.17.

Range anxiety remains an obstacle for some people who want to buy an electric vehicle but don’t want to get stuck on the side of the road after running out of juice.

Mercedes-Benz reckons it has the answer to this issue with its swoopy, retro-futuristic Vision EQXX concept the company uncovered this week.

While the EQXX itself is just a concept and unlikely to make it to production, the high-tech super-efficient powertrain, elements of the exterior and interior design, and other vehicle engineering tech will make their way to Mercedes electric models in the not-too-distant future.

In fact, Daimler chairman Ola Kallenius says that the Vision EQXX “is how we imagine the future of electric cars”. It’s been reported that the drive system will go into a production model in 2024.

The biggest news is the EQXX’s efficient powertrain that Benz says enables energy consumption of just 10kWh per 100 kilometres. Included is a compact battery pack that offers 100kWh of energy, despite the fact it has 50 per cent less volume and is 30 per cent lighter than the pack found in the Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan.

The powertrain was developed with input from Mercedes’ Formula 1 and Formula E engineers in a bid to squeeze as much energy as possible. The battery pack holds more energy than an EQS but the Vision EQXX has compact dimensions, including a 2800mm wheelbase – less than that of the Tesla Model 3.

It has a 150kW electric motor mounted at the rear of the vehicle and drive is through the rear wheels only.

All of this means that the EQXX has a driving range of more than 1000km. That’s enough to drive from Sydney to Melbourne, or Sydney to Brisbane, or Paris to Berlin, on a single charge.

Benz engineers used advanced digital tools such as 3D printing to reduce weight and waste and it uses a lightweight Formula 1 subframe.

The design looks the way it does to maximise efficiency. Aerodynamic drag has a big impact on driving range and that’s why the EQXX has a drag coefficient of just 0.17. This is even slipperier than the unusually designed Volkswagen XL1 from 2015 that has a coefficient of 0.19.

To achieve this result, Benz employed features like shutters at the front that open and close as required for extra cooling. There’s a rear diffuser that deploys at high speeds but slips back into the body of the car when not in use, and a long tail.

The EQXX has optimised 20-inch forged magnesium wheels that are covered, rolling on ultra-low rolling resistance eco tyres by Bridgestone.

Up front, it’s not obvious that it’s a Mercedes. Gone is the usual large grille blacked out with plastic on a Benz EV model, replaced with a slimline grille that does not house the three-pointed star badge – that is now further up the bonnet.

It even has solar panels fitted to the vehicle’s roof that add up to 25km of range.

Inside the EQXX features a massive one-piece curved screen that stretches across the entire width of the dashboard and features a 3D sat-nav system. Benz has also incorporated sustainable materials in the cabin, such as recycled PET bottles for the floor area and door trim.