The upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQG is set to become the first model to receive the firm’s new high-silicon-content battery, which will increase range within a compact package.
Insiders have confirmed that the electric off-roader, which is due to be launched in 2025, has been earmarked first for the battery technology previewed by the one-off EQXX concept. It will then be used in other forthcoming EQ models.
The new battery has been developed in partnership with US company Sila Nanotechnologies. It features a silicon anode that, in combination with other chemical changes in the cells, is said to contribute to a 20-40% increase in energy density at more than 800Wh/l at cell level compared with the batteries used in the existing line-up of EQ models, which feature more commonly used graphite anodes.
Mercedes-Benz says the new cell chemistry allows it to store “more electric energy in any given space than is the case now”. This will allow it to increase the range of future models without resorting to larger-capacity batteries.
The prototype battery used by the EQXX is said to have a capacity of 100kWh, compared with the 90kWh and 107.8kWh batteries currently available for the EQS. The battery in the EQXX is said to weigh 495kg.
The basis for the EQG is a modified version of the existing Mercedes-Benz G-Class’s ladder-frame chassis, which has been comprehensively reworked to support the extra weight of the battery.
The electric G-Class, which was previewed in concept car guise at last year’s Munich motor show, is set to be powered by a quartet of electric motors – two at the front and two integrated into the rear axle assembly, and each with its own fixed-ratio gearbox.
A software package being developed by Mercedes is said to enable the motors to simulate the effect of the three differential locks featured on the combustion-engined G-Class models.