Automotive

Lucid Air blows past the competition (Tesla) with 520-mile EPA range

Lucid Air blows past the compe...
With the first EPA ratings out, the Lucid Air family edges closer to delivery
With the first EPA ratings out, the Lucid Air family edges closer to delivery
View 2 Images
With the first EPA ratings out, the Lucid Air family edges closer to delivery
1/2
With the first EPA ratings out, the Lucid Air family edges closer to delivery
The Air Dream Edition Range and Grand Touring models each power over 500 miles before requiring a recharge
2/2
The Air Dream Edition Range and Grand Touring models each power over 500 miles before requiring a recharge

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.

The Air Dream Edition Range and Grand Touring models each power over 500 miles before requiring a recharge
The Air Dream Edition Range and Grand Touring models each power over 500 miles before requiring a recharge

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.

Sources: Lucid Motors, EPA

9 comments
9 comments
SIP Advisory
Good article and well done Lucid for getting a longer range car into the mix. My main issue is related to the author's point around an apple-vs-apples comparison of the Tesla with the Lucid models at the same or similar price point. I would think it is relatively easier to build an expensive car with a bigger battery and therefore get a longer range car and hey presto the comparison against a cheaper car with a smaller battery is that the "Lucid Air blows past the competition".
It would be good to see specs on the battery sizes for each car and perhaps some range / battery size ratios. The equivalent for ICE cars would be to say that a car with a larger fuel tank has a greater range than a car with a smaller fuel tank - not apples-vs-apples...
Daishi
I think the range is impressive but direct comparisons become more complex when you consider charging availability. Tesla still has the best Charging network and availability and most people will need a bathroom break more often than 520 miles anyway so if I had to choose one to drive across the country the Supercharging network could still put the Tesla in the lead. The charging networks are pretty suboptimal and all the different standards are becoming a bit of a crapshoot. Now Rivian is going to start building their own proprietary charging network. There are so many fragmented charging standards and versions that even most enthusiasts barely have a solid grasp of all of them and it's getting worse and not better.
roger90
How long for a full charge?
ScottBaker
Since you can't really fully use the maximum range on any EV - no one is going to go much below a quarter charge with charging stations so scarce, jamming the last 10% charge into a battery takes forever, etc. - 400 miles is nowhere a realistic driving range. EVs are still hamstrung by too few stations, incompatible stations, and other forms of range anxiety.
lon4
I would like to see effiency figures for EV's in KWH/KM or WH/mile. Something to compare apples to apples. Range and efficiency are to different quantities.
BlueOak
500 mile range is impressive, but talk and R&D are cheap. Actually getting it reliably to market is an entirely different story.

Saw one on the road locally as a test vehicle the other day. Those photos with the California plates above don't reflect how bland, droopy, even ugly and cluttered the styling is in person. The roof looked aftermarket. Styling does not fit the mid six figure price point.
jerryd
What is impressive is how useless it, this car is for the money. Even more so than the Tesla S both with performance you just can't use and carrying around needless weight the extra battery is.
For the same money you can make 5 250 mile range that charge in 10 minutes is a much better idea.
We have enough costly EVs, we need some simple mass market ones.
KISS
The deerhunter
Dammit! You guys have thought of everything I was going to. comment on. Except perhaps "When will even the first unit of the first variant be delivered."
Bruce H. Anderson
Pull into a gas station with a Porsche or a Pontiac, and you can get gas. Having different kinds of connectors and chargers is lunacy.