1200 km batteries, a reality within ten years?

1200 km batteries, a reality within ten years?

1200 km batteries

A new and mileage research by IdTechEx announces that over the next few years we will see big steps forward on the side of batteries directed to electric cars. It sounds pretty obvious when reading the recent news on these technologies, but it's not that obvious. For some time, the so-called maximum "range" has remained well below the psychological threshold of 1200 km or 760 miles in American terms. The reason lies mainly in the costs, weight and the way in which the batteries themselves are assembled.

According to these latest predictions, there will be four main areas in which efforts to produce high-range batteries will be concentrated. The improvement of current technologies, as per the Tesla school, will lead to further optimizations so as not to waste almost anything of the accumulated power. At the same time, weight reduction remains a priority for all manufacturers and will be the subject of significant progress. The last two sectors of development, the use of solar energy as recharging "on the move" and the improvement of battery conservation technologies, starting with their cooling.

The objective of 1200 km of autonomy is not a challenge from the Guinness Book of World Records but serves to eliminate the anxiety on the road that slows down the purchase of many electric cars. Their real autonomy, especially in the smaller and less expensive models, is often much lower than that declared and still suffers too much from driving conditions. The use of many accessories, for example, can greatly affect the battery life, forcing the so-called "hunt for columns".

The latter are not yet as widespread as they should, even if something is also moving in Italy. Obviously, the improved range would eliminate much of the problem given that with a total of 1200 km the user would no longer have to worry about the nearest charging point. But the target set for 2031 is still relatively far away and the road to reach it is quite tortuous.

There are still issues such as reliability in all driving conditions, the risk of fire and disposal with related recycling. Fortunately, the EV sector is constantly growing and the increase in budgets dedicated to these technologies will bring significant improvements on this front. In time for 2031? Maybe ...

Did you know that Porsche created an electric car as early as 1900? This and more in the book on the history of the car, on Amazon for Kindle.

The SLS AMG Electric Drive Proves to be More Relevant Today Than Ever Before

Although it was first unveiled at the Paris Motor Show back in 2012, this month, we celebrate precisely eight years from its June 2013 first production date. The SLS Electric Drive (ED) proves to be still one of the essential steps in AMG's history regarding their future plans for high-performance hybrid and battery-electric drivetrains.

To celebrate this milestone, Mercedes-AMG released a throwback video, with an emphasis being put on a slightly cryptic motto: 'This is our legacy. Imagine our future. #areyouAMGready'. They succeed in leaving fans wondering about what the future might bring, also assuring them that what AMG might do soon might be as significant as the release of the SLS Electric Drive was back in the day.

One of Nine and a whole world to impress

First of all, there are not even that many vehicles produced. It is rumored that only nine examples have seen the light of day, and of course, AMG kept one for themselves. It's an uncommon sight to see one for sale. And if you are lucky enough to find it, you can expect to bring a small fortune with you if you want to add this piece of history to your collection. Considering its starting price of around $544,000 back then, nowadays, you cannot find these examples under seven-digit figures.

Not only stats and figures, but a unique all-round experience

As Mercedes-AMG states it, the SLS AMG Electric Drive was 'the most electric supercar' of its time. It developed 740 hp and 738 lb-ft (1000 Nm) of torque, meaning more power than its brother, the SLS Black Series. 118bhp and 270lb-ft more, to be exact. These numbers translated into a naught to 60 mph (100 kph) times of 3.7 seconds and a top speed limited at 155 mph (250 kph). Moreover, it had another ace up its sleeve versus the Black Series, the instant and addictive response of the drivetrain.

Such figures are achieved by four electric motors, one driving each wheel and a 60 kWh battery, a very serious configuration for the early 2010s. Furthermore, two electric motors were mounted on each axle, and each set was controlled by its own dedicated transmission.

This arrangement, coupled with fast and precise software programming, meant that the electric gullwing could take advantage of an active torque vectoring like no other vehicle at the time. Using transistors and electrons, the hefty 4,700 lbs (2,132 kg) SLS ED could behave itself dynamically like no other gas-powered competitor, literally defying physics using science and computers.

The SLS AMG Electric Drive boasted a range of about 120 miles (193 km) on a single charge, but, truth be told, in real-life conditions, if you took advantage of all the available power, the distance you could travel decreased dramatically. You would consider yourself lucky if the car survived two laps of the notorious N├╝rburgring Nordschleife.

The Formula One division of Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains was responsible for the development of the lithium-ion battery pack. The assembly weighed in at about 1200 lbs (544 kg). It contained 864 battery cells, all of which were set inside a carbon fiber enclosure, which besides energy, offered increased structural rigidity when bolted to the SLS's aluminum frame.

Significance today

Mercedes-AMG is on a course to hybridize and electrify their performance drivetrains, and the Electric Drive variant of the mighty SLS AMG was the first step in that direction. The electric gullwing made a lasting impression on the automotive industry, petrolhead, or tech-savvy fans alike. It is now celebrated as a significant turning point regarding future projects that AMG might introduce to the public.

All the newly announced Mercedes-Benz EQ line-up, such as the EQS luxury sedan or the EQC small SUV, or even the AMG Project One, whose release date is around the corner, trace back their origins to the SLS Electric Drive project.

'This is our legacy. Imagine our future.' is the AMG motto of choice that perfectly describes this vehicle's impact on the industry. Very much ahead of its time then, but more than actual today, this vehicle may very well represent one of the most influential products of the decade, maybe even the century, for the Affalterbach-based company.

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