There’s been a bit of a hiatus on the Lucid Air, the details of which we reported at its launch around this time last year, but the California-based EV start-up is back making headlines thanks to the fact that it is now officially the longest-range EV money can buy.
A top-spec Lucid Air Dream Edition Range, which will sell from £132k here, with the 920bhp (933hp) powertrain was tested for the USA’s EPA certification programme, achieving an official 520 miles of range.
To drill into specifics, the car was equipped 19 inch wheels and the brand’s biggest battery, totalling 130kWh in size. Whilst you could scoff and say that any EV with a battery that monstrous could do the same, the forthcoming Mercedes EQS has 120kWh to its name in its most capacious form and can still barely crack 400 miles in the WLTP test.
Of course, the EPA test is different and favours long-range driving, but cars – such as the Porsche Taycan – can beat their EPA figures in real life, so it’ll be interesting to see what owners end up squeezing from their Lucid Airs. The signs are good, though, with a first drive by automotive title, Motor Trend, showing proper 500 mile potential.
Lucid attributes the range to the huge amount of time and money it has spent developing a super-efficient powertrain based on 900 volt electronic architecture. The firm reckons it has cracked over 20 million miles testing its battery cells (which have also been used in racing), as well as optimising power electronics, cooling, software and aerodynamics to make the Air an extremely efficient vehicle.
“I’m delighted that our Lucid Air Dream Edition Range has been officially accredited with a range of 520 miles by the EPA, a number I believe to be a new record for any EV. Crucially, this landmark has been achieved by Lucid’s world-leading in-house EV technology, not by simply installing an oversize battery pack,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Group.
The Lucid Air is a rival to the Tesla Model S and in setting this record has given Elon Musk’s company a bloody nose. A Model S Long Range will do 402 miles (officially) on a charge of its 100kWh battery, so it loses 118 miles to the Lucid. Even if owners of the Air specified 21 inch wheels, they’d still cruise past the Model S with 79 miles to spare.
In fact, all Lucid Air Dream Edition cars – whether sporting the 1080bhp powertrain or not – and all Grand Touring spec cars beat Tesla for ultimate range to the extent that the top six places on the EPA’s mileage ratings for EVs are occupied by Lucid Air variants.