Lucid Air coming for Tesla with 517 miles of range

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When the Lucid Air electric car reaches customers next spring, it may have more range than the Tesla Model S.

Lucid on Tuesday announced a 517-mile range for the Air, as measured by FEV North America in Auburn Hills, Michigan, during a test commissioned by the automaker. While FEV North America did follow the agency’s testing procedure, the range figure is not EPA-certified.

It would set a new standard for electric cars, however. The Tesla Model S only recently cracked the 400-mile barrier, with an EPA-rated range of 402 miles.

Lucid previously teased a real-world range of 400 miles during highway cruising. That indicates a higher EPA-rated range, as results in the lab are typically more optimistic than results on the road.

Lucid Air prototypes parked

In a press release, Lucid attributed the impressive range figure to efficiencies from its motors, transmission, and inverter—all of which were designed in-house—as well as the Air’s 900-volt architecture. The Air also has a very low drag coefficient of 0.21 (compared to 0.23 for the Model S), and is expected to have a large battery pack, likely around 110 kilowatt-hours.

The Air will launch with what Lucid calls an extended-range pack, according to Motor Authority sisters-in-law site Green Car Reports. That will be followed by a standard-range pack that will offer more rear foot space, and a lower price point. The Air will also be available with 350-kilowatt DC fast charging, as well as a sophisticated driver-assistance suite called DreamDrive that will serve as a rival to Tesla Autopilot.

Lucid plans to unveil the final production-ready version of the Air September 9. Work on both the Air and the new Arizona factory that will build it are being completed thanks to a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

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Saurabh Shukla

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