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The new EQS SUV: the battery

Apr 19, 2022
Stuttgart

The EQS SUV has a lithium-ion battery with up to 12 cell modules and pouch or hardcase cells. Thanks to the 107.8 kWh capacity, sufficient energy can be provided for ranges of up to 660 kilometres according to WLTP[1]. The innovative battery management software, which was developed in-house, allows updates over the air (OTA). This keeps the energy management of the EQS SUV up-to-date.

Battery development is a decisive factor in Mercedes-Benz's electrification strategy. After all, the battery is the heart of an electric car and makes a decisive contribution to, among other things, the range and thus the driving characteristics of the electric vehicle. The EQS Saloon marks the launch of a new generation of batteries with significantly higher energy density. The new batteries set standards in terms of performance, efficiency and charging capacity.

They also meet the high Mercedes requirements in terms of safety, durability and sustainability. Mercedes‑Benz issues a battery certificate for its high-voltage batteries, and thus a performance guarantee to customers: A term of 10 years or 250,000 kilometres with a remaining capacity of 70 percent.

Comprehensive battery expertise

The team of experts at the Mercedes-Benz Battery Centre of Competence has developed the high-efficiency batteries entirely in-house. The software for the intelligent management system was also developed and programmed in-house. The battery system for the EQS SUV is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE Saloons.

The EQS SUV has a lithium-ion battery with up to 12 cell modules and pouch or hardcase cells. In terms of cell chemistry, a major step towards sustainability has been achieved with this generation of batteries: The optimised active material consists of nickel, cobalt and manganese in a ratio of 8:1:1. This has reduced the cobalt content to less than ten percent. The continuous optimisation of the recyclability is part of Mercedes‑Benz's holistic battery strategy (for details, see separate chapter on sustainability). The aim is to be able to dispense entirely with materials such as cobalt through the use of innovative post-lithium-ion technologies. 

Intelligent operating strategy for more efficient charging

The battery is integrated into the intelligent thermal management of the EQS SUV. If the intelligent navigation with Electric Intelligence is activated, the battery is preheated or cooled as needed while driving to reach the optimal temperature for efficient charging at the charging point. The desired temperature range of the battery is achieved with the aid of the cooling circuit and a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) booster heater integrated into it. 

Complex protection concept for safety

Mercedes-Benz AG applies very high safety standards to all its models. This means that, in many cases, internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards exceed legal requirements. The crash-related requirements in particular are aligned to the "Real Life Safety" philosophy. In the process, findings from internal accident research are incorporated into the development specifications. Alongside verification of crash behaviour, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles undergo additional component tests at the systems level.

The battery sits in a crash-protected area in the underbody, embedded in the body shell structure including an extruded aluminium profile on the side. In extrusion, a heated block of metal is forced through dies and transformed into a continuous profile, which is then cut to fit. In this way, highly complex profiles can be produced that are precisely tailored to the requirements. The housing with energy absorbing structures at the front and side as well as a rigid, double-walled base plate provide additional protection for the modules. The test criteria include, among other things, the battery behaviour under impact load and in the event of foreign object penetration. Overheating and overcharging were also simulated and tested. In addition, there is a separate, multi-level safety system for everyday operation. This includes, for example, temperature, voltage or insulation monitoring as a continuously monitoring safety system. If a fault occurs, the battery is switched off.

Production: battery systems from Bibb County

On 15 March 2022, Mercedes-Benz opened a state-of-the-art battery plant in Bibb County, not far from the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa (USA). Production of the high-performance lithium-ion batteries for the EQS SUV is CO2-neutral. The energy storage units are assembled into a complete system on an approximately 300-metre-long production line with more than 70 workstations. The individual components are assembled in a fully digitised production process, including up to twelve cell modules and what is known as the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics. Mercedes-Benz is creating around 600 new jobs in Bibb County.

New safety and training concepts were developed for the employees at the Bibb County plant. Mercedes‑Benz attaches particular importance to operational and occupational safety. For example, every team member who has access to the battery plant must complete comprehensive high-voltage safety training. Mercedes-Benz spends a lot of time and money on these special training courses, the more so as they are repeated regularly.

With the new plant, Bibb County will become part of the global Mercedes-Benz battery production network, which includes factories on three continents. These include the locations in Kamenz and Stuttgart (Germany), Beijing (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Jawor (Poland). The individual factories supply the respective local vehicle production and are also ready for export if required. Mercedes-Benz is investing more than one billion euros in the expansion of its global battery production network.

To localise key suppliers, Mercedes-Benz is partnering with one of the world's leading battery technology companies: Envision AESC. Envision AESC will supply the Mercedes-Benz battery factory in Bibb County with high-performance battery modules from a new plant in the USA. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the middle of the decade.

1 536-660 km are the provisional range figures of the EQS 450+ (WLTP: combined power consumption: 23.0‑18.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km). Data on power consumption and range are provisional and were voluntarily determined internally in accordance with the "WLTP test procedure" certification method. There are no confirmed figures from an officially recognised testing organisation to date. Deviations from the final data are possible.

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