Lucid Air blows past the competition (Tesla) with 520-mile EPA range
When Lucid Motors first announced its Air sedan would return 517 miles (832 km) on a single charge, it sounded too good to be true. But Lucid didn't think so, having hired an independent test firm to run it through the EPA cycle. A year and change later, Lucid's best-in-market electric car range stands. The official EPA numbers are out and show that the first 2022 Air models will all surpass the 405-mile (652 km) EPA benchmark set by the 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range, with the longest-distance variants breaking 500 miles.
Too often, EPA rating day is a disappointing experience for the automaker and those waiting for the launch of the vehicle in question, with official numbers falling short of manufacturer projections. But the Lucid Air actually fares a little better than projected, the Dream Edition Range model achieving a 520-mile (837-km) rating from the EPA.
Announced late last month as one of two special-edition launch models, the Dream Edition Range features a 933-hp dual-motor all-wheel drive. It requires 19-in wheels to hit the 520-mile mark and has a 481-mile (774-km) EPA estimate when equipped with 21-in wheels. The second launch edition model, the Dream Edition Performance gets up to 471 miles (758 km) per charge with its uprated 1,111-hp dual-motor drive, according to the EPA. Sadly, at US$169,000 each (before federal or local incentives), the Dream Editions won't exactly bring those impressive electric driving ranges to the masses.
Inching a little closer to those masses (but not much), the $139,000, 800-hp Air Grand Touring gets an EPA range sticker of 516 miles (830 km). The Grand Touring was the original Air model for which Lucid estimated 517 miles, and the car gets about as close as possible to that estimate without hitting it precisely. With 21-in wheels swapped in for 19s, the Grand Touring has a 469-mile (755-km) EPA-estimated range.
All of those Air model/wheel variants handily surpass the previous EPA leader, the 405-mile Tesla Model S Long Range, to become the longest-range EVs available in the US. Tesla had originally planned the Model S Plaid+ as its own 520-mile car, but the model was later nixed before launch – EV drivers don't need more than 400 miles (644 km) of range, proclaimed Elon Musk. We suppose the market gets to decide if Musk is correct, and we don't anticipate it hard-braking at 400 miles.
It should be noted that the $89,990 Model S Long Range prices in well below the initial EPA-rated Air variants, so a better head-to-head range comparison will come with the launch of lower-tier Air models like the $95,000 Air Touring and $77,400 base Air, both of which are estimated at 406 miles (654 km) by Lucid but have yet to get official EPA ratings.
Still, Lucid's achievement in breaking 500 miles (805 km) is quite impressive and sure to trickle its way down to lower-priced models in the future. With EPA figures recorded, Lucid will move toward deliveries of the first Air Dream Edition models, followed by the Air Grand Touring and additional models.