By on August 11, 2020

Image: Lucid Motors

The Lucid Air, an unabashed luxury electric expected to roll out of an Arizona factory early next year, just got the PR boost it needed.

Working with FEV North America at the firm’s Auburn Hills, Michigan test center, Lucid and its partner put the Air to the test, applying standard EPA testing procedures to wring out the vehicle’s maximum driving range. The resulting number was impressive, to say the least.

Slated to come in many flavors, the Air ladder tops out at a luxed-up super sedan boasting a 130 kWh battery (of which 110 kWh is usable) and twin motors totaling 1,000 horsepower. It first appeared in early 2017, though necessary cash and brain trust collection took time. The factory is currently under construction.

Applying the EPA’s Multicycle Test Procedure to the most capable of Airs resulted in an adjusted range figure of 517 miles, Lucid claims. In its early marketing efforts, the fledgling automaker claimed a maximum range topping 400 miles — no small distance, considering Tesla’s groundbreaking Model S has only just now eked its way up to an EPA rating of 402 miles.

When the Air debuted, 400 miles was a lofty promise, indeed. Topping 500 would do much to squash the range anxiety concerns that still dog electric vehicles, delivering Lucid bragging rights in the process.

“FEV’s exhaustive verification process closely follows the official EPA standard testing procedure and has been executed for several leading vehicle manufacturers,” the automaker said in a release. “Lucid conducted thousands of miles of real-world range testing, and FEV’s results validate these endeavors.”

All that said, the EPA has yet to issue a final range figure of its own.

Regardless, Lucid is making hay with this sunny data. CEO Peter Rawlinson credited the Air’s 900-volt architecture, miniaturized motors and transmission, aerodynamics, weight savings, and general system efficiency for setting a “new standard” for the industry.

The production version of the Air is scheduled for a September 9th reveal.

[Images: Lucid Motors]

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24 Comments on “Lucid Motors Claims 517 Miles of Range From Upcoming EV Sedan...”

  • avatar

    … and charging time for that ginormous battery?

    • 0 avatar

      Okay, I know very little about electricity (except it’s angry pixies dancing in a circle making things move, light up, or warm up)…

      Back of the napkin calculations:
      110,000 Wh capacity, charged in 1 hour would be, 110,000 W (assuming 100% efficiency, because why not?). At 240 V, that’s 458 amps.

      Slowed down to 8 hours, that’s 13,750 W for 8 hours, and 57 A for 8 hours.

      It’s a bit over 4,583 W for 24 hours, needing 19 A.

      So, big DC charging stations in every garage with huge batteries or supercaps? The station recharges at more reasonable rates 24/7 and then dumps everything quickly when you plug the car in?

      Or is this just the eventuality of distributed grid electrical storage? Everybody has a huge powerbank in their home for when the sun is down and/or the wind isn’t blowing?

      • 0 avatar

        Well, charging a battery to charge another battery is even more inefficient. And so called super capacitors don’t store that kind of power, they’d be a lot bigger than your house. But if you can afford this luxury vehicle you probably won’t end up driving it that much anyway. And you’ll certainly be wealthy enough to have a few backup vehicles, perhaps also battery powered but probably one or two that burns gas, so you’d have options while the Air is on the charger, at night, slowly drinking electrons from an orange extension cord at 13 amps. It’s also likely you’ll be topping it off frequently and rarely if ever discharging it completely. This is what most Tesla drivers do now. Statistically the larger the battery the less likely it is to be deeply discharged, which contributes to a much longer battery life. Just because you can go 517 miles doesn’t mean you will, your driving habits won’t change.

        • 0 avatar

          I suppose rich people don’t do road trips very often…

          It illustrates how far electric cars have to go in order to replace every aspect of ICE car ownership.

          Though, I suppose they don’t have to replace every aspect to have an impact on the world.

          • 0 avatar

            “I suppose rich people don’t do road trips very often…”

            That’s not it. The plan is that the majority of charging will be done at home. Of note is that this system will actually handle the 1000-volt 385kw chargers that are becoming available along the major interstates.

            But at “starting at $100K” for a luxury sedan……..?

            It ain’t a Mercedes, Rolls, Bentley or BMW.

            And you can’t beat the value that gasoline provides for the money.

            OTOH, there will be plenty of takers. They’ll sell everyone they’ll make. Just like Mercedes, just like Rolls, etc.

          • 0 avatar

            The Tesla Model S has done a real number on the the +/- $100,000 class. Rich folks have proven themselves to be fans of electric cars. Gas-powered cars have their charms, for sure, but electrics have unbelievable performance, and that sells in this class.

            There’s a reason why Jaguar is going electric with the next XJ.

      • 0 avatar

        “Back of the napkin calculations:”

        You don’t wait until the battery is completely empty to recharge. If I’m coming back from a long trip, I’ll stop and quick charge along with food shopping on the way home so I’d still arrive with a mostly full battery.

        My current car uses a kWh every 4 to 4.5 miles. If I run errands I might use 3 kWh. With an 11.5 kW charger (48 amp – the max rate for a Model 3 and my 60 amp charger) at max speed (which it won’t be with a nearly full battery), it would take maybe 16 minutes. A 40-mile round trip commute, 10 kWh so maybe an hour or so. 110kWh figure about 38.5 to 40 miles of recharge per hour if your car has an 11.5 kW onboard charger.

        “Or is this just the eventuality of distributed grid electrical storage?”

        Whenever I get around to getting solar, I plan on adding in one or two powerwalls.

  • avatar

    They’re still building he factory but they start production early next year. To which next year are they referring, the one right after 2029?

  • avatar

    A gallon of gasoline can make about 15 hp·hr, which is 11kWh. 400-517 miles out of a 110kWh battery is actually reasonable math.

    Don’t forget that the radiator on an internal combustion engine is a big drag (literally). A straight electric car needs much less cooling airflow.

    I used to get 750 miles out of 12 gallon fill ups on my Honda Civic Hybrid. My commute was about as optimal as I can possibly imagine for getting max range out of every last drop of gas, and yes that’s comparing a compact car with a luxo-sedan, but I don’t think they’re breaking any laws of thermodynamics by making this claim.

    • 0 avatar

      As with gasoline powered cars, actual mileage varies in accordance with many factors. Saying an electric vehicle has a certain range does not qualify the conditions under which that range can be reached. A very aerodynamic vehicle cruising slow on the highway with a lot of air in the tires is probably going to yield the greatest range, but that’s not going to be representative of your actual range. The larger the battery, the heavier it is and the fewer miles you’ll get out of each kWh of charge. I’d be curious to know how much the battery and it’s associated systems weigh.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    517 miles is too little because:

    1. I drive 518 miles a day for work.
    2. I drive 1000 miles a day when I take a trip, pulling a 12000-lb camper.
    3. When it gets cold, range will drop to like, 50 miles.

    517 miles is too much because:
    1. It can’t be filled up in 5 seconds like my car.
    2. It’ll be too heavy and expen$ive, just for rich people.
    3. Who can afford a charger that big, and the power grid will melt.

    517 miles doesn’t matter, because:
    1. I’ll never buy the EVs the government is trying to shove down our throats.
    2. There will be something better next year, so I’ll wait for that one.
    3. It’s not a Tesla.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it’s just more vaporware. Lotsa talk, generating lotsa interest, causing lotsa money changing hands for pre-orders, and then…… nada, nothing, zip.

      I’m still waiting for my Rivian Truck delivery date.

      Do any of you remember Rivian? They were supposed to deliver this summer of 2020.

      So far, nada, nothing, zip……..

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        In Lucid’s case, I don’t think so.

        They’ve been producing some very impressive videos with actual test cars, and IIRC during COVID it came out that they had ~40 prototypes waiting for their test drivers to return.

        But to your point, going from prototype to production is very difficult. And I always doubt any EV mfr who doesn’t have a Gigafactory to support their volume claims.

        As for Rivian, I suspect their biggest headache right now is the Tesla lawsuit, which IMO could ruin their future if they don’t get rid of it.

        • 0 avatar

          I have no doubt that Tesla will initiate infringement lawsuits against Lucid as well, considering where Lucid’s CEO came from.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX


          How about that – a 3-minute Rivian update video from today.

          Lucid’s CEO came from Tesla ~2013, so I doubt he knows anything current, and the typical cooling-off period will have long expired.

        • 0 avatar

          Lawyers are expensive, but I have to think Rivian has a lot of dough and will be able to run the clock on Tesla for years. They’re in tight with Amazon and Bezos has no love for Musk.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    My question involves grinding out money and lawyers will be involved somehow. A guy in my condo complex has a Tesla. We don’t have chargers, I asked and he said he recharges at work. I have a feeling most people won’t be so lucky. I don’t like to fly, lived through two helicopter crashes. In 8-12 hours of driving will Flying J/Pilot/Truck stops of America install charging stations? Can I whip into a dealership in another state and charge up? Will some nationwide fun-drinkery place like TGI FRidays install chargers at various locations? And advertise that fact? Will valet parking include charging and properly trained valets to plug my car in correctly? Around town? EVs more than make sense. A road trip? I need a place to charge up. Yes, I don’t mind stopping to eat, go pee-pee and get a cup of coffee while my car is charging. Maybe Bezos will bring chargers like Amazon brings stuff to my door.

  • avatar

    Owners of certain types of vehicles may never need to do 0-60 in 3 seconds or pull a 20ft boat thru a blizzard, but its not about how they actually use a vehicle but knowing what it is capable of doing which attracts them. The same logic applies to BEV’s and battery range. I may never need to take my BEV on a 500 miles trip, but its darned nice to know I could.

    More realistically, assuming the average car is driven about 15K miles/yr or 288mi/wk; 400 miles is the magic number for BEV range. 400 miles on a charge covers almost every driving situation, even middle-distance road trips (200-300 miles round trip) can be completed without planning stops around public charging stations. For BEV homeowners, 400 miles of range all but guarantee nearly all of their charging will be done at home with enough flexibility for charging to not be a daily requirement.

    Given this, 500 miles of range is gravy.

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