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Mercedes EQC Challenge. Fast versus economical driving: who wins?

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Are you going on holiday abroad using your electric car? Then you probably want to keep driving, without having to charge it back up every other kilometre. But how do you optimise the range of an electric car? Does hypermiling, aka driving economically at a constant, lower speed, really work? Or does driving at the maximum speed limit work just as well? We can calculate this on paper, but we decided to take the test ourselves.

This article appeared earlier in the Athlon Nederland Mobility Reporter.

Two teams, two electric Mercedes EQCs

Two of our teams took two electric Mercedes EQCs on a road trip to Austria:

  1. Team Highspeed drove the maximum allowed speed (max. 140 km/hour in Germany)
  2. Team Hypermilen drove a maximum of 100 km/hour

Both cars are completely identical and have a battery of 85 kWh.

(Video in Dutch.)


942 kilometres from Almere to Sölden

The route started in Almere and goes via Germany to Sölden (Austria), 942 kilometres in total. Both teams drove the same route at the same time.

And the winner is…

With a total travel time of fifteen hours, including three charging stops and an hour and a half of traffic jams, team Hypermilen was the first to arrive in Sölden, and thus winning the challenge. The other team (team Highspeed) took three hours longer and had to charge up their car two more times. In short, driving as economically as possible by maintaining a lower, constant speed seems to pay off. Although the winning team’s good preparation was the deciding factor.

The drive back 

Based on the insights and experience of the outward journey, we decide to drive back at 110 km/hour. Driving at this speed is economic, comfortable, and safe, also because we were able to pass trucks a little faster. As a result, we were on the road for a little less time: thirteen hours including three charging periods.

Going abroad with an electric car? Useful tips

Curious about all the tips? We’ve lined them up for you here (in Dutch).

We notice that speed doesn’t necessarily make the difference during a longer journey with an electric car. Good preparation and experience with electric driving have a greater effect. 



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