The first all-electric car from Lucid Motors just set a new industry benchmark – and record – with more than 500 miles of range per charge on its first electric sedan.
That easily topped the leading electric vehicles (EVs) that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Nio (NYSE: NIO), General Motors (NYSE: GM), and others offer.
Last month, the California-based start-up said its Lucid Air sedan is estimated to achieve an EPA-rated range of 517 miles on a single charge. And the results were verified by engineering consulting firm FEV North America.
“It’s unprecedented. It’s a big step forward,” Peter Rawlinson, Lucid Motors CEO and chief technology officer, said. “How we were able to achieve that is a holistic view of all the technology in the car.”
See, most electric vehicles on the market today have a range of under 300 miles.
GM and others have said their future vehicles could top 400 miles. A version of Tesla’s [former] industry-leading Model S sedan has an EPA-rated range of 402 miles per charge.
But Lucid’s 517-mile range is nearly 30% better.
Lucid even took a slight jab at Tesla, Rawlinson’s former employer, in a teaser video on social media recently of an odometer accelerating to 402 miles with the Lucid Air speeding past it.
Lucid, a company backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, announced the estimated range ahead of unveiling the final version of its Air sedan on Sept. 9.
The car is expected to begin production next year at a plant being constructed in Arizona.
Lucid previously said the Air would achieve more than 400 miles. Rawlinson, a former vice president of vehicle engineering at Tesla, said the increase in driving distance was a result of the company’s advancements in technology.
Rawlinson attributed the vehicle’s increase in range to Lucid’s in-house electric motors, design and aerodynamics, among other things.
The company also cited the experience of its Atieva technology division, which supplies battery packs to the Formula E racing circuit.
Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Automotive News that the company “could make the 500-mile range car right now,” but it would increase costs and reduce cargo capability. He went out to say, “people probably want about 300 miles over time.”
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Rawlinson, who was named Lucid’s CEO in April 2019, declined to discuss the weight of the Air. Final design tweaks could affect curb weight, he noted.
The vehicle is externally smaller than a Tesla Model S, but roomier than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class – among the leaders in spaciousness for large executive cars.
Rawlinson expressed as much ambition as pragmatism. While proud that the Lucid Air prototype was independently tested and notched a 517-mile rating, he repeatedly noted, “None of this matters,” until Lucid is actually producing its vehicles.
Lucid is currently taking reservations for the Air through $1,000 refundable deposits. The company declined to disclose how many reservations have been made.
Production of the vehicle was expected to begin this year, however COVID-19 delayed the company’s plans, Rawlinson said.
If successful, Lucid could be taking itself public in the near future (be careful not to confuse it with the tiny medical company, Lucid Inc. – ticker LCDX).
When Lucid (the electric car maker) does go public, I’ll be sure to update you.
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