Model S Rival Lucid Air launching soon

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Words: NZ Autocar
14 Aug 2020

Tesla has been leading the charge, as it were, in the electric vehicle area, but it was only a matter of time before traditional auto makers gave the company a run for its money, and now new upstarts like Lucid Motors are in the wings.

The Newark, CA-based firm is launching its luxury large electric sedan in a few weeks, the Lucid Air. Its claim to fame is a touring range that beats the 640km of the Tesla Model S.

The company reckons its technology makes 800km without stopping a possibility, exceeding the 500 mile mark on a single charge. That they say may be a tipping point in the transition from fossil fuels to electrics.

Lucid Motors’ max battery range in excess of 800km comes from real world testing performed by independent engineering firm FEV North America, based on the EPA’s multi-cycle test procedure. While nothing is official as yet, if ratified it would make the Lucid Air far and away the longest-range production EV.

Lucid chief, Peter Rawlinson, commented that since the company’s initial range projection of 400 miles, “we have achieved a series of technological breakthroughs, culminating in an unsurpassed degree of energy efficiency”.

Nowadays range is in excess of 800km, he said, while the battery pack’s capacity has also fallen, reducing vehicle weight and cost and improving interior space. Lucid also suggests the Air can manage up to 650km on a single charge of its 110kWh battery pack at highway cruising speeds.

Most of the improved range was achieved by enhanced battery technology, though Lucid also makes mention of the Air's 900V electrical architecture, its compact powertrain, and drag coefficient of 0.21. Some of the technology, including cooling of the motors’ cores, and a “breakthrough in electromagnetism” is patented.

Rawlinson envisions its main Air offering will be capable of around 550km on a single battery charge, so will be lighter and more affordable. It’s all about ‘range confidence’, he said.

Further details will be available in the second week of September when the production car debuts.

First customer deliveries are expected early next year.

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