Mercedes-Benz completes 1,000 km electric drive on energy-efficient design

BERLIN, April 14 (Reuters) – Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) aims to produce electric cars consuming as little as 10 kilowatt hours of energy per 100 km (62 miles), its chief technology officer (CTO) said on Thursday, a third more efficient than the current average for electric cars.

Speaking as the carmaker celebrated the successful test drive of its EQXX prototype vehicle over more than 1,000 km from Sindelfingen in Germany to the Cote d’Azur on a single charge, CTO Markus Schaefer said efficient design was key to maximising an electric car’s range.

Carmakers from Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) to Tesla (TSLA.O) to China’s Nio are in a neck-to-neck race to produce higher range cars that dispel consumer anxiety over the lack of widespread charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

The car spent 8.7 kilowatt hours of energy per 100 km on its 11-and-a-half hour drive to France, Mercedes-Benz said, about twice as efficient as Mercedes models on the market and Tesla’s longest-range car on offer, the Model S 60.

“There’ll be a further increase for some time before a fall, which will happen once charging infrastructure is as available as petrol stations,” Schaefer said, although he declined to state what range Mercedes was targeting in future models.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee and Ilona Wissenbach; editing by Richard Pullin