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A single charge for a road trip? Why is a long-distance electric vehicle still a pipe dream?

Mercedes-Benz is only a few weeks away from dethroning Tesla in one crucial measure: the longest all-electric vehicle range. The new EQS 450+ from Mercedes-Benz is a true engineering marvel, offering 20 percent more driving capability on a complete charge than the Model S of Tesla. It’s Mercedes’ first all-electric “luxury” car, with a lot of power (up to 385 kW) beneath the hood. It also has a streamlined body form that is designed to cut via the wind. Mercedes claims that the new EQS 450+ is the “world’s most aerodynamic production car.”

Despite this, the EQS 450+ falls short of the holy grail—the 1,000-kilometer electric vehicle—a target that seems to be edging ever further away even as EV technology pushes inexorably forward.

What is the issue? For starters, there’s the chemistry of the battery. Despite Tesla’s nearly four-year-old promise, clients will probably have to endure a few years for battery technology that would allow EVs to break the 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) range barrier reliably. Even in the best of driving circumstances, even for the longest sedans with sufficient room between the axles to carry the largest battery packs are going to fall far short of that target until then.

According to a new update from Daimler’s premium, the Mercedes EQS will be supplied to the first clients in Germany at the close of next month (for the minimum cost of €106,374, or $125,000) brand. The Mercedes entry-level EQS 450+ boasts the lowest drag co-efficient of any mass-manufactured automobile ever built—a fact Tesla CEO Elon Musk vigorously denies—and a validated European range of a maximum of 780 km when equipped with unique aerodynamic wheels. The vehicle that has yet to acquire an equal EPA-authorized rating for the American market will debut in Tesla’s home market before the end of the year.

In a like-for-like comparison in Europe, it comfortably outperforms Tesla’s equal 652 km advertised for the Model S Long Range, which begins at a slightly lower price of about €96,990 in Germany. When it concerns long-distance travel, the Model S is now the most popular electric vehicle.

Mercedes, on the other hand, may not be able to stay on the throne for long. Lucid Motors, led by ex-Tesla Model S lead engineer Peter Rawlinson, claims that its EQS rival, the Lucid Air Grand Touring car, will have a range of 517 miles (832 kilometres) and will start at $131,500. This automobile might start shipping to consumers in the United States as early as the 4th quarter of this year, with a probable European launch next year.