It was just two months ago that the Tesla Model S officially broke through the 400-mile barrier, and if EV makers weren’t gunning for it before (they were), they only started aiming harder after the news. Lucid Motors has put itself in position to leave the Model S lifeless on the side of the road, revealing today that its upcoming Air sedan has leapt far beyond its initial range estimates, surpassing the 500-mile (800-km) mark. Besides beating Tesla thoroughly, that’s the type of range that could push the Air to become a major tipping point in the move from gas to electric vehicles.
We always take automaker range figures with a large grain of salt until the EPA and actual owners weigh in with fully vetted range figures, but Lucid Motors’ 517-mile (832-km) achievement isn’t merely a rosy guesstimate on a concept car spec list. It comes from testing performed by independent engineering firm FEV North America using the EPA’s own multi-cycle test procedure. The Air is not in production yet, and that 517 is not an official EPA figure, but it would make the Air the longest-range production electric passenger car out there by a long shot.
“A few years ago, we revealed our alpha prototypes of the Lucid Air and promised over 400 miles range, a reflection of our technology at that time,” says Lucid CEO/CTO Peter Rawlinson. “In the intervening period, we have achieved a series of technological breakthroughs, culminating in an unsurpassed degree of energy efficiency. I am therefore pleased that we have consequently achieved an estimated EPA 517 miles of range today whilst also significantly reducing our battery pack’s capacity, thereby reducing vehicle weight and cost and improving interior space.”
Much of the work behind the improved range performance originated in Lucid’s battery division Atieva, also the battery supplier of Formula E racing. Lucid also credits the Air’s 900-V electrical architecture, compact powertrain, and drag coefficient of just 0.21 in helping blow away the initial 400-mile (644-km) estimate that still occupies the range line of the Air’s online spec sheet.
Beyond a robust range, the Lucid Air promises to be an all-around performer. The prototype comes with a host of impressive specs, including 1,000 hp, a 2.5-second 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) time and a 200+ mph (322+ km/h) top speed. The production car will offer an advanced “DreamDrive” Level 3-ready driver-assistance suite with a total of 32 sensors and 19 features.
Lucid’s original 2020 New York International Auto Show Air debut got scratched, but it will hold an online premiere event on September 9, at which time it will reveal specifications, production interior and exterior designs, pricing and configurations. The first customer deliveries are slated for early 2021.
Source: Lucid Motors
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