By on October 1, 2021

Lucid

You can say what you want about Lucid Motors and their upcoming Air luxury sedan, but you can’t call their PR team “shy”.

“An absolute triumph of efficiency,” reads the headline. “Lucid Air achieves 520 miles of range … besting the closest competition by over 100 miles.”

Think about that. There is a fast, comfortable electric car that will go a full five-hundred and twenty miles before you need to stop and plug it in. As Jasper said when he stepped out the Kwik-E-Mart freezer, “What a time to be alive.”

But, like, do you really even want an electric car that can go 520 miles? The more I stare at that figure, the more I think the answer to that question is: Maybe I don’t.

THE NEED TO GO 520 MILES DOES NOT EXIST

You don’t need to go 520 miles in one shot, non-stop, for any reason. Even in the most optimistic scenario of open road driving at a steady 75 mph, that’s seven hours of solid driving. No food breaks. No bathroom breaks. Nothing, in other words, but the steady sounds of wind whipping around the side mirrors and tires rolling across the asphalt. For seven hours.

With the possible exception of Alex Roy and that one guy who thinks Cannonball drivers pissing mostly into a water bottle but also partly all over the front seats of a purpose-built RENNtech Mercedes-Benz CL600 is cool, does anyone genuinely want to spend that long in their car? Of course not – but that’s a straw man, and we’re better than that here on TTAC, I know. Still, in order for us to understand what the Lucid’s range is, we have to understand what it is not. And what it is not is a response to an actual need.

Make no mistake, it’s still a response. Once we understand what it’s a response to, exactly, we can start to understand what kind of product the Lucid Air really is, and who it’s for.

500 MILES IS A SYMBOL

Range anxiety. It seems like we’ve been talking about range anxiety for almost as long as we’ve been having conversations about electric cars, and the goal posts always seem to be moving. To their credit, Lucid seems to understand that. That’s why they chose to target that “500 mile” bogey, because 500 miles is somewhat symbolic of “a full day of driving” to most people.

Heck, Lucid probably has this article (or one very much like it) posted somewhere in their Newark, CA headquarters. I’ll save you a click: “You should not drive for more than 9 hours a day, excluding breaks,” says the Road Trip Expert. “For every 4.5 hours driving you should take breaks amounting to 45 minutes. For long-distance driving, this means you can drive around 500 miles safely in a day.”

What is being said, without explicitly saying it, is that you can drive your Lucid all day without worrying about charging.

That’s a powerful statement, albeit a useless one to anyone more than remotely aware of The State of Electric Charging in 2021, when the first large-scale deliveries of the Lucid Air Grand Touring will likely take place. Here’s what I mean by that.

That’s right, kids – after more than 450 miles of non-stop driving at a steady, unbroken 75 mph, it takes all of 28 minutes to charge a Lucid Air Grand Touring back to full.

Twenty-eight minutes. That’s barely enough time to take a good, bathroom-based Reddit scroll and stuff a McSubway King combo meal in your face.

I was thinking about that 28-minute charge time the other day while I was riding shotgun with my good friend, Matt Teske, in his Tesla Model 3. We plugged his car into one of the many Tesla Superchargers scattered around Irvine, California, walked across the parking lot to grab some grilled cheese sandwiches from the In-N-Out Burger. Nothing fancy, in other words – and, by the time we were full, so was the car, and we were ready to go for another 230-odd miles.

In terms of down time, that twenty-minute stop is already comparable to an interstate stop that includes pumping a full tank of gas, potty break, and a quick meal … but people who haven’t experienced that kind of stop in an EV for themselves probably don’t believe it’s possible – or, at least not possible, today – and those are the people that Lucid is going to wow with that 520-mile EPA range.

There’s just one problem: Those people aren’t going to buy a Lucid Air.

WHO IS LUCID SELLING TO

From the beginning, Lucid has presented itself to the world as an upscale Tesla alternative. Where Tesla made do with falling bumpers, flying moonroofs, and Home Depot-level assembly line hacks, Lucid would be different. The build quality would be superb, they told us. Sitting in a Lucid Air would delight the sense with high-quality materials and a well-finished, thoroughly conceived user interface. There would be no consumer beta-testing here, in other words. The Lucid Air, it was promised, would be just like that Tesla Model S that Lucid CEO, Peter Rawlinson, engineered – only better.

All that was promised way back in 2016, when Atieva/Lucid first announced its intention to build and sell an electric, high-performance luxury vehicle. The Tesla Model 3 didn’t exist, yet. There was no Mustang Mach-E, no F-150 Lightning, no Rivian R1T, no GMC Hummer, and certainly no Cybertruck. In fact, there were really only two types of EVs available: the Model S, and a bunch of others that didn’t matter.

Today, as Lucids begin – finally! – rolling off the assembly line, that’s not the case. Lucid isn’t entering a EV market in competition with Tesla, it’s entering an EV market in competition with Cadillac, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Polestar. That’s just here in the US. In the all-important Chinese market, there are even more competitors, and they’re getting better every day.

So, sure, maybe the Lucid Air is built better than the Model S – but even Tesla buyers are starting to move on from the Model S, as evidenced by the increasing number of Teslas showing up in Porsche- and Audi-dealer used-car inventories. Does Lucid think they can compete with Porsche and Audi for build quality? How about Mercedes-Benz? That’s a very different proposition than going toe-to-toe with a Model 3’s IKEA-level interior, in my opinion.

Who, then, is Lucid really selling to?

With that five-hundred-mile range, it seems like the target Lucid buyer might be a luxury car buyer who also happens to be an EV holdout – but not necessarily someone who lives and dies by the roar of a V8 engine. Instead, this is an EV holdout who says things like, “I’ll buy an electric car when they get [some arbitrary number] miles of range,” or “when they go 0-60 faster than my [generic Boomer/tribal tattoo muscle car].” And, frankly, that guy sounds like he might be an engineer.

Engineers, you see, think in those terms: Targets. The engineering brief for the Lucid is easy enough to figure out, because it’s not masked by legacy styling cues or a need to be “authentic” to the brand. They had a target Cd, a target acceleration time, a target range – they probably had a target door gap, because the Lucid Air is literally the car you would get if you put an engineer in charge of the whole show, because that’s what Peter Rawlinson is. He’s an engineer, like Ferdinand Piëch was. But, unlike Piëch, he doesn’t have decades of history and brand legacy influencing his company’s products.

Also unlike Piëch, Peter Rawlinson doesn’t strike me as a racer, despite stints at Jaguar and Lotus Cars and Lucid’s role as a battery supplier in Formula E. Motorsports seems like a problem to be solved to him – and I say that with genuine respect and admiration for the guy. But Piëch understood that motorsport is not a rational pursuit.

Heck, Piëch understood better than most that top-shelf machinery of any kind is not a rational pursuit, which is why his vanity projects – cars like the Bugatti Veyron and Volkswagen XL1 – were built to hit targets, sure, but they felt like a much more confrontational flexing of mental muscle.

The Lucid? The Lucid seems like a very smart car, built by very smart people who believe that the market is smart enough to realize they have a superior product. A product that is faster, more efficient, and put together more solidly than everything else.

The Lucid may very well be all of those things, but those things rarely matter to the well-heeled enthusiasts who will be asked to part with $77,400 for the Lucid Air Pure – let alone the $169,000 Lucid is asking for its Dream Edition Air. To put it another way, the Mustang Mach-E may be among the fastest, most efficient, and best-built Mustangs ever made – it’s certainly better than my Fox-body 5.0 in every way – but it’s still “not a real Mustang” to a whole lot of people … and those people wouldn’t be swayed by a 520-mile range. I have a feeling that the Mercedes-Maybach S and Alpina B7 buyers won’t be swayed by it, either.

And, for what it’s worth, I’d rather take the time to enjoy my lunch and stretch my legs a bit after three or four hours of driving – what about you?

[Images: Lucid, screenshot from Chargeway app]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

137 Comments on “Opinion: When it Comes to EV Range, 520 Miles Are Too Many...”


  • avatar
    orangefruitbat

    520 miles sounds great for me. Sure I would never drive 520 miles straight without stopping. But I could easily see myself driving 250 miles without a break – and finally stopping in place where there is no convenient charging option. And then having to drive 250 miles back along the same route (say a day later). Add in some safety margin, and this 520 looks pretty good.

    For example, this summer, my family went camping several times in areas that were approx. 4 hours drive from home. This was tent camping (no serviced lots). We also drove around inside the park to visit different locations, before heading home (say 40-50 miles total). Now, there was a Tesla supercharger on route, but not necessarily where I felt like stopping. Being able to do it all with my starting charge sounds perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Just few weeks ago I drove 550 miles without stopping. Although, I did stop to refuel

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Just few weeks ago I drove 550 miles without stopping. Although, I did stop to refuel”

        Um, you admitted to stopping so, no, you didn’t drive 550 miles without stopping.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Yea, to answer “Sure I would never drive 520 miles straight without stopping.”
          I would do it, if my car could do this.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Lou, you’ve never heard of in-drive refueling? All the rage these days.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @28 – drop ramp kinda like something out of Fast and Furious? LOL

            I had a friend with one of those old Econoline vans with the “doghouse”. He was on a trip and the engine started to eat oil. He stopped at a few places and got pails of used oil. His buddy just poured it in while driving.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      This right here. Jo’s complete lack of imagination mirrors that of the general press. Can I go 250 miles to the relative middle of nowhere and come back? That would be much nicer than tying myself to a very immature charging network on the major freeways, a charging network of chargers that may or may not work when I get there.

      Maybe Jo never goes off the major freeways.

      Also, if you’re stopping every 230 miles to eat and take a dump, something’s wrong with you. I can easily go 430 miles in one sitting between destinations or fill-ups; when I put gas in, I don’t take 28 minutes. Nowhere near.

      Either supply, right now, an electric supply setup that mirrors what we have with gas stations–I can go to the middle of nowhere and find a working gas pump with ease, and without thinking about it or planning it–or else beef up the range.

      And, as one man I know said about driving electric cars around this country of ours, “I don’t want to think that hard.” It’s true. Gas stations are everywhere. But for some reason people here think it’s perfectly rational to fire up an app on your phone–not even the manufacturer’s app, but a third party app–to navigate you through your trip so that it takes you near chargers as needed.

      When was the last time you needed that for a gasoline car?

      Either supply, right now, an electric supply setup that mirrors what we have with gas stations–or else beef up the range of the individual cars.

      But don’t tell me I have to compromise on something as basic as everyday auto transportation that’s been around for almost 100 years.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        ^ This!

        In 2016, I did a round trip between the Toledo area and Minneapolis. My parents, in their early 70s, were with me.

        Drove up there with two fuel stops plus a lunch break, 13 hours, if memory serves.

        Coming back was better! Left the Twin Cities with fuel to the top! Stopped in Janesville, WI for dinner and a gas stop. We then non-stopped it from there to home, with my Dad at the wheel, who’s slowed down a bit. Distance of around 350 miles, not even a bathroom break (for which my Mom was usually the deciding factor back during vacation drives as a kid)! IIRC, we did it in 12, with my Dad having enjoyed 80+mph with adaptive cruise! :-D

        I surprised myself with my road-trip stamina! I’ve always thought that I could go until the car needs gas, then combine a bathroom break and/or gorge-fest as necessary, then back at it!

        At age 51, a trip from Toledo to Cleveland is easy-peasy! I could probably do four-plus hours at a sitting, very easily, as long as the road is fairly clear and enforcement allows me to do 80mph or so. (That speed requires that you stay alert!) Just need some good road tunes on my phone, USB drive, or SiriusXM, and I’m happy as a swine in fecal material!

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          The above was in my 2013 Accord Touring, which had a bigger fuel tank than my 2019 Accord, which got a smaller fuel tank so that Honda could fit a hybrid battery in that particular model and allow for the rear seats to fold. Why they didn’t source a slightly larger tank for the ICE models is something that’s bugged me a little. I probably couldn’t do one leg of the round trip I mentioned above without at least two fuel stops.

      • 0 avatar
        ricegf

        Your overall point seems to be that modern EVs are recent innovations, and the charging infrastructure for long distance travel, while growing fast, isn’t yet complete. That’s a fair point.

        But for daily driving, EVs are usually much MORE convenient than a gasoline vehicle, since (for those who can charge at home, work, or other regular destination) you never need to think about the “stopping at a gas station” ritual. That’s a bigger deal than we expected.

        And for road trips, you don’t need to “fire up an app on your phone” to find a charger. The in-vehicle computer with a large display not only knows the location of all chargers, but can plan the entire trip for you with a simple verbal or touch request.

        Great driver assistance plus greater convenience when not road tripping are key reasons why EV sales are growing rapidly while gas vehicle sales are stagnant. We’ve driven our Model 3 all over the eastern US, over 20,000 miles on its first year, and we have zero desire to go back to old internal combustion engine tech. Zero!

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          “But for daily driving”

          you call it “daily driving,” I call it “golf cart usage”. Because that’s all it can really achieve.

          If you have to have a second car to have the first car make sense, then the first car will never make sense.

          If you must own your own home or live in a rental situation where suitable charging is available, then it doesn’t make sense.

          “And for road trips, you don’t need to “fire up an app on your phone” to find a charger.”

          Why, I was told not too long ago on this very site that I was doing it all wrong if I didn’t use whatever third party app to keep me on the straight and narrow as I maneuver my EV out of town–that the manufacturer’s information was not suitable.

          And in fact, that came from my saying originally that to do what I needed to do, based on Tesla’s route planning site, would require X. In comes an EV stan declaring that “well, then, you’re doing it all wrong!” and telling me I should instead be using whatever third party app he declared was The Correct One.

          When was the last time you had a discussion like that about ICE cars, hmmmm? “Oh, you’re doing it all wrong. You need to fire up X app to get to the approved gas stations, or else of course you’ll be in danger/take longer/whatever horrible thing we can think of”.

          And frankly, I road trip 3 times a week. What I see here are people who have an 8 mile commute every day, who think paying $75K for a car in which to achieve that is “perfectly reasonable”.

          “We’ve driven our Model 3 all over the eastern US”

          I doubt “all over”. You’ve been led by the nose by your route planner and the availability–or lack thereof–of charging. You know that, I know that.

          If you really want to go all over the eastern US, the last thing you’ll do it in is an EV.

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            Which EV do you own, again?

            That’s right – none – so you have zero earthly idea what you’re talking about.

            Of course EVs engender compromises – they’re just different compromises from those engendered by an ICEV.

            Your ICEV needs multiple gears to keep its engine in its extremely narrow powerband and doesn’t have full torque available immediately whenever you press the accelerator?!?!? Wow – suckstobeyew!

            And you’re correct that the EV infrastructure is in its relative infancy.

            Your “stomping your feet an insisting that EV infrastructure and development occur RIGHTNOW or the vehicles are useless” sounds like the shrieks of a 2-year old. The development and build out will happen over time – you know, just like ICEV infrastructure happened over time.

            Nobody, including the author, suggested that EVs are right for everyone right now, but you go ahead continuing to build your strawman so that you can keep railing at the sky!

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @ZCD2.7T: Well said!

            “and doesn’t have full torque available immediately ”

            Torque lag. I hate it every time I drive an ICE. I’m so used to the instant response from an EV.

            “Nobody, including the author, suggested that EVs are right for everyone right now,”

            Good point. Even some ICE cars aren’t appropriate for some. For many of us, EVs are perfect. No torque lag, no dealing with gas stations, and no oil changes. No check engine light. For me, a 300-mile range EV means no public charging. If I need to go someplace that would require charging, I take a plane. Sure, there will be trips that require public charging, but that might only be a few times over the time I own the vehicle.

            It’s also kind of funny that people complaining that they don’t have 30 minutes of extra time to charge an EV can spare 5 hours to take a trip that would be an hour in a plane.

    • 0 avatar
      logic

      500 miles is an optimal target for manufacturer of a passenger vehicle. Even with battery degradation over time and weather conditions reducing that max range, vehicle owners would have flexibility to apply the vehicle to nearly any need. Long trips? If you need the range, you have it. Short trips? Good news, you can get there and back. Commuter purposes around or near your home? Look at that, this vehicle can work for you. For multiple days or weeks even!

      A serious, knowing buyer purchasing an EV needs to be keenly aware of range. And manufacturers that offer the range will be more likely to target that as the #1 feature in their EV. And the owners won’t be anxious about it. If you are buying an EV, you don’t get the Mini Cooper EV if you have to drive between LA and Vegas (300 miles) every week. Its like buying a knife to bring to a gunfight.

      Driving across the country (recharge as needed until you get to your destination. Accept the limitations you purchased.) Between regional metro areas (recharge if needed once before arrival to your destination), or within your county or city (recharge every x# of days, or weeks? Remember, you can drive on a less than full battery.)

      500 mile range is ideal. And remember to buy the right EV tool, for your EV job.

    • 0 avatar
      Bolognapogna

      The need to go over 500 miles doesn’t exist? No one travels above 500 in a day? Wait, what?! It definitely does exist for military members like me, people who move a lot (also me), and people who have a livelihood based on traveling. Of course Lucid didn’t design that range for people like me, but the EV industry has always had that 500 mile goal. I guess you missed Ol’ Musky (who honestly calls him that?) talking about 500 miles for several years. You’re not a Sith bro, you shouldn’t be speaking in absolutes, especially when it comes to people. Of course some people want/need to go 500 miles. Life and the universe is a huge gray area. Also, let’s be honest. This 500 mile range is also for lazy people who don’t want to charge when they get home. You write for the auto industry, and I’m assuming you have either one or multiple vehicles. You’ve never been too lazy to get gas and fill up before?

      • 0 avatar
        geemy

        no one said the need to drive 500 miles but the need to do it without stopping.current EVs come with pros and cons but if you look a bit further it doesn’t matter that much because first the cons are shrinking quite quickly and second ICE are simply going to disappear from the market.You’ll probably be able to buy used for a while. but you won’t be able to drive in some cities/states, and it will become harder to find gas stations, while charging will become easier. in the meantime nobody forces you to go electric. I do have both, and rather drive my EV instead of ice whenever I can. good bye expensive gas, oil changes, even brakes last forever.and those bloody automatic transmissions. my cheap ev has both instant and smooth “throttle” response. going back to ICE feels antiquated, but long range, fast charging, large & affordable does not exist yet

    • 0 avatar
      Integrazimmy

      I will confess, I didn’t read the entire article. Mostly because while it seemed extensive, to me it seemed exhausting. I own a Tesla Model Y and can say that if there was a MY with 520 miles of range for an extra $10k, it would take that over the performance model with even LESS RANGE than the LR I currently own. Here are a few reasons why 520 miles are PERFECT! 1. One should HARDLY EVER charge to 100%, so if the Lucid is charged to 80%, that’s only 416 miles per charge cycle. 2. Some BEVs lose some percentage of range within the first 20k miles, around 3-10% and then it tapers off losing almost nothing extra the next 80k miles. Not much, but that would reduce the miles equivalent to the 80%. 3. If equipped with a similar system to Tesla’s Sentry mode, you could expect to lose 1 mile per hour. 4. Not every charging station will charge your Lucid in 28 minutes. In fact, most won’t. 5. Resale value will be higher since at 70% battery and over 200k miles, the AIR win still have more miles than my MY brand new.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “One should HARDLY EVER charge to 100%”

        So now the device owns us. We’re now the caretakers of the device, to the device’s benefit. Not the other way around.

        That’s insane. I also know it’s not true, and Tesla would dispute you, but hey.

        • 0 avatar
          geemy

          tesla offers a charging limit for a reason. slow charging to 80% daily will make your battery last “forever” while still covering your daily driving. you still have the choice. some people have used only(free) supercharging for years, which is not recommended, but still have good battery life.
          So yes, you SHOULDN’T charge to 100% whenever you know you’re not gonna need it.
          BTW you seem to forget that ICE also tell you what to do, you are just used to it’
          “engine is cold, don’t rev too much or apply too much throttle”
          “it’s too hot out there, can you give me a break/take it easy”
          “you are late;on your commute but you need to stop at the gas station”
          “please bring me to the service center to do oil change, and wait a few hours”
          “oops my head gasket blown, it’s gonna be $2000”
          “you have to pass emissions”
          … the list is long. A battery is not going to fail overnight, and if you’re unlucky, it’s covered by a much longer warranty than ice power trains. let’s say you have driven 200k and range loss makes it unpractical during winter, your car is still perfectly drivable, you can give it to you kid, sell it, or simply plan to trade it before next winter.
          Hopefully, also, it’s going to be much easier in the future to find places to repair batteries on the cheap, instead of going for full battery replacement by the manufacturer.
          But I agree EV buyers are still early adopters that have to do with less than perfect charging infrastructure (especially non Tesla) or some weird Tesla stuff like not getting your fsd you paid, and getting $0 when it’s traded-in/totalled, after saying it’s gonna be “appreciating asset” or remotely disabling fast charging on salvaged cars.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            “BTW you seem to forget that ICE also tell you what to do, you are just used to it”

            Oh, I hear all sorts of people allow themselves to be owned by their automotive possessions.

            You’d swear that some of them demand that you change the oil after every fillup, or else you’ll die.

            Many of them also slavishly wash their cars every 3 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Hype, like Hot Air and Pure Air…., has a tendency to sound great if one is uncritical.

      “520 miles” is not realistic. Or at least ought not to be. What on planet earth would one spend that kind of money for, if all one intends to do is roll around at maximum-efficiency speed over completely flat ground with a tailwind?

      Also, who the heck gets a kick out of huffing exhaust fumes and noise along freeways when making stops? There are more than plenty of nicer places in the US than that. Far and away most of which do not have hyperduper chargers located next to them.

      And, there’s still no hyperduper charger in Gabbs. Nor anywhere close enough, to make it across at the kind of speeds which makes traveling through there a superior alternative to huffing smoke on freeways in the first place.

      And that’s in the middle of North America. Basically my commute for years. Northern Rockies to California. 1100 miles. Which is, as proven more times than I care to think about, perfectly doable in a day, even predominantly off freeway. As long as one has a proper car (and perhaps half decent radar detectors). Instead of some piece of rolling hype and silliness.

      Away from middle of North America, Up North (And Down South come to think of it), I have been on plenty of trips where carrying plenty of jerrycans has been prudent, despite having proper cars/trucks with 30+ gallon tanks and 700+ mile ranges even in Northern temperatures.

      The conclusion of the article isn’t far off. Noone needs a 520 BEV. But that’s because BEVs aren’t appropriate for general purpose long distance driving. They’re between fine and great as city cars and reasonably close-in commuters. But beyond that, the need to carry another car’s worth of weight, and 4 cars worth of cost, in batteries just to get out of it’s own sight, render them decidedly less optimal.

      For the kind of money any of these “Long Range” BEVs cost; far and away most of the people who buy them can afford parking for a half-weight, quarter cost, appropriately sized BEV to use where BEVs shine. AND a real long distance car for longer trips. That’s what “Smart People” do.

      • 0 avatar
        geemy

        I have to agree on better value for a short range ev + ICE road trip car. my low miles 500e and Sorento have cost me less total than half the cost of a good road trip EV like model Y LR, Ioniq 5. And also being able to not plan your stops and just
        stop whenever you want at any gas station, and leave whenever you want is still important to me when driving with kids, dog… it’s not really about making less or shorter stops but about being able to improvise instead of following a precise optimized charging schedule computed by a trip planner. However if I had a garage and could easily charge two cars, and cost was comparable, I would still probably go full electric and adapt. there are simply not enough cars that are big enough for a family road trip, and have good range + very fast charging, which are important for long trips, and they are too expensive. and I need the two cars anyway for my family, bit I don’t need both to have long range.
        But there are also plenty of people that are ok spending 50+ k on a long-range ev, looking at the waiting times to get a Model Y, and Americans somehow don’t like small cars, even though they are perfect for commuting and errands. the picture is different in Europe with the Zoe, Dacia Spring, and even tiny two seat 28mph $6400 or $20/month grocery getter like Citroen Ami

        Things could change if Tesla can make a high volume , value crossover/SUV based on CT manufacturing process. if you take single motor 40k CT and make it a smaller/lighter 3 row SUV without bed/tailgate/tonneau cover,air suspension,glass roof, improve drag coefficient it could probably be around 30k and still have good range and charging speed, and be a perfect affordable people mover.

  • avatar
    random1

    “Even in the most optimistic scenario of open road driving at a steady 75 mph, that’s seven hours of solid driving.”

    I doubt you get 520 at a constant 75mph. All of these range tests (EPA or various “real world” numbers) tend to be mixed driving, and at comfortable temperature. How about the whole family on a ski trip? So sub-freezing, climbing mountains, maybe a roof box? The Lucid seems awesome, it might even get 300 in that scenario. I do think 520 is “enough”, I don’t think it’s too much. If I had stupid money to spend, I’d have to give this a serious look. My budget is more like VW iD.4. And that would definitely give me range anxiety.

    • 0 avatar
      Gabe Ets-Hokin

      My Bolt EV is rated for 238 miles and I’ve gone over 225 at highway speeds, though admittedly I had to keep it under 70. I was running the AC and I wasn’t even on the stock energy-saving tires. EVs actually get great efficiency at steady speeds under 70 mph.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      And this is the other part of the discussion. 520 miles, of what? EPA tested range? Flat streets in LA weather with no traffic or stop signs?

      So what does that 520 miles really mean to Joe Average as he drives around his busy day/week, in all weather. What does winter and sleet/snow do to that 520 miles, hmm? Mountains?

      “You don’t need 520 miles of range!” is the cry of the ignorant, the one who doesn’t even specify what 520 miles of specification means in the real world, the ignorant who commutes 8 miles to work and then back every day and occasionally goes 20 miles on the weekends.

      I can think of plenty of reason to have 520 miles of range. Let me see, yesterday I drove 200+ miles just for work–and it was almost going to be 350. I know you’ll dismiss that because the whole concept is completely outside your scope of understanding, but it’s a very real situation.

      Add cold weather and snow/sleet to that, and I’m very appreciative to have that much battery power available. If I’m driving a BEV, that is.

      It’s a big world out there. Open your mind.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Think about that. There is a fast, comfortable electric car that will go a full five-hundred and twenty miles before you need to stop and plug it in.”

    This is like an academic experiment that has no real life value. At the price it requires, how much does it matter for an average Joe whose money deteriorating in the saving account?
    Blackbird could take a single passenger from NY to London under 2 hours in 1974. And where is that technology now? Can I pay $20,000 to book that flight?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Cost is something like $85,000 per hour, and you want a two hour flight for $20K? Where is my profit?

      This is America – there should be a profit. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        haha. Pay your share!
        Yea, but this is what I say. Make it 40 people flight @20K per person. Where is it?

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          @slavuta,

          Fine – here – take it:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-144

          (Not as fast as you wanted, but higher passenger capacity.)

          But I warn you, there may be problems.

          NASA had one – note the American flag here:
          https://tinyurl.com/kusk67vp

          Some afternoons I just sit and stare at the ceiling – the Debt Ceiling.

          (Is the mail coming today? How quickly?)

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Yea, I can’t stop thinking of TU144. Especially, why we had TU134 cigarettes but not TU144? https://tinyurl.com/d4msmnd3

            After all, TU144 was first flying supersonic passenger jet and also the last flying supersonic passenger jet. And I know about the NASA program.

            Debt ceiling? Biden said, debt will lessen inflation. What can we see in the black hole?

          • 0 avatar

            We also had Apollo-Soyuz cigarettes which were much cooler made from American tobacco. TU-134 were Bulgarian cigarettes BTW.

          • 0 avatar
            PeteRR

            The TU-144 was a hugely-flawed copy of the Concorde that the Russians abandoned as soon as they could.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            PeteRR,

            I like primitive opinions because they allow me to stick 15 cents.

            While TU 144 was built on some of the borrowed technology, in no way it was a copy of Concorde

            Lets see some differences

            Concorde:

            1 Commander and 2 Engineers
            92–120 passengers (All business)
            Speed – 1,354 mph; Range – 4,488.04 mi
            38,000lbs of thrust

            TU144:

            2 Pilots and 1 Engineer
            140 passengers (11 first class & 129 tourist class)
            Speed – 1,429 mph; Range – 4,000 mi
            44,000lbs of thrust

            TU was a bigger aircraft, which also had noticeable differences with additional Canards, Engine placement and wing shape, different landing gear. And some of it was the result of a “lesser” design vs Concorde, because Soviets were on the hurry. The engines in TU needed afterburners often, again, result of hurried design but also shows that it is not a copy.
            Generally, TU was less of a technological marvel. The only marvelous about it was that they were able to put a functional airplane in short period of time and as everything Soviet, the simple, plain thing outlived complex piece of technology. Just like soviet cars, bunch of them are still on the road as daily drivers.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Russians get blamed a lot for copying. They may mimic some features, but in my experience, it’s usually a robust design. Fragile, at least for some things I’ve seen, wasn’t in their vocabulary.

            Like the design of their fighters. They’d design in protective doors to protect the engine intakes from sucking up debris when on the ground.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Play the game, spot 10 differences

          https://i.stack.imgur.com/fMd4t.gif

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          “They’d design in protective doors to protect the engine intakes from sucking up debris when on the ground.”

          This is part of the requirement – usage of unpaved runways. You can see how US airforce picks up debris from runways

          https://media.defense.gov/2011/Oct/12/2000210511/780/780/0/111011-F-HZ705-008.JPG
          https://media.defense.gov/2014/Sep/29/2000998881/780/780/0/140929-F-GH936-036.JPG

          Russians have the doors. Even IL76 – a huge military transport is designed to operate off unpaved fields, and even grass fields.

          https://i.ytimg.com/vi/yJNf_7coG2c/maxresdefault.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      20 smokes in a pack, 16 TU-144s ever built. 102 flights with 55 passengers. 747’s still being built. Concorde from LHR to JFK was 3 1/2 hours, about 12 K in Freedom Currency, was luxurious, and cramped. If you mean SR-71 by “Blackbird”; it never was a commercial jet, thusly didn’t have JFK to LHR service and had two crew members. I’m kinda glad you’re the best internet troll today’s modern and newly sensitives KGB can produce. I’m not sure which one of you wrote this; there are two or three slavuta’s; you can tell by logic, grammar, and overall writing style. Oh, yo may claim to live in Chicago or somewhere in America but we know better.

  • avatar
    wdtoddnix

    I drive an e-tron in Texas where the chargers on the interstate are sparse and often require a detour to access.

    Range to reach a destination and speed of charging are not huge issues, BUT having enough range to be able to choose which charger to use is a HUGE issue.

    That’s the key difference between road tripping an ICE vs an EV today – the ability to choose where and when to stop vs having your stops pre-determined by scarcity.

    Tesla is much better positioned in this regard than the CCS network, and if you are looking for 150kw or 350kw CCS chargers, the availability is even worse.

    I agree that 520 is overshooting the mark a bit, but basing range requirements on Tesla supercharger availability in California is a major oversimplification.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Is anyone saying you can’t drive it for 2 hour stretches, top off the battery in 10 minutes or so and resume the trip? Wouldn’t it take less time to fill a 500+ mile battery with just 2 hours between stops?

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I regularly drive to a place out of town on the weekends where these is no charger. It’s about 160 miles away, so 320 miles round trip. That means I would need not 321 miles of range but 400 miles, since no one fills up their tank when it’s none dry, and no one waits until they’re burning through their last kilowatt-hour before they stop to charge their car. 520 miles is not excessive. The question is, at what price? It’s a bug battery, it’s expensive and it’s very heavy. That weight affects the overall weight of the car significantly, so now the chassis is heavier, the brakes and bigger, bigger tires, etc and the efficiency goes dow because of the weight you drag around. But I do t think this car has hit that point of diminishing returns. And it actually won’t get 520 miles to a charge and that’s not really the range. The true range is the typical efficiency in the real world minus 20 percent for reserve. So I’d call this a 400 mile cad at best, and that’s pretty decent.
    And remember, Li-ion batteries degrade by about 2.0~2.5% annually with typical driving. So in five years you will lose at lease 50 miles of the awesome range, and another 50 five years after that.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Agreed that everybody forgets to take 10% off the top and bottom of rated BEV range. So a 500 mile BEV is really only good for 400. All three of our ICE vehicles (Infiniti G37S, Ford Focus SE, Toyota Sienna) are good for at least 400 miles before we have to start looking for a gas station. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which I find very tempting, is a 300 mile car at best.

      The big limitation on road trips with BEVs is the rarity of charging stations off the main highways especially in fly over country. With an ICE vehicle, you can start a 1,000 mile trip on fumes and reasonably expect to stumble across an open gas station before you run completely dry. With a BEV, you need to plan your stops and hope the only charging station within range is working.

      Who are the wimps who can’t drive more than five or six hundred miles in a day?

      Back in the 1960s, when my car was a 53 hp VW Beetle, my goal for cross country travel via the interstate was 900 miles in 15 hours including stops for fuel, food and bathroom. I achieved it regularly up until the 55 mph limit.

      Twenty five years ago, I drove solo from Elko, Nevada to Florence, Nebraska (northeast corner of Omaha). Set the cruise to 3-4 mph above the speed limit (mostly 75 mph) and roll. Most stops were for fuel only. All I wanted for food was a bottle of juice. Not quite 1,200 miles in, if I remember correctly, 19 hours.

      Two years ago, my wife and I drove our Sienna from Pinedale, in eastern Arizona, to Florence with stops only for lunch (in the van), fuel and bathroom. Distance was the same but the trip took longer due to slower, two lane roads through southeastern Colorado, western Kansas and southern Nebraska. Two drivers made it feasible.

      There were no safety issues during any of our long drives. We didn’t drive like idiots and we didn’t fall asleep at the wheel. We just covered a lot of ground in not too much time. Making good time over the road isn’t about has fast you drive. It’s about how slowly you don’t drive, that is, how much time you don’t waste stationary.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        My record is Grand Tetons NP camp ground to Wichita Falls, TX. 1400 miles, almost 24 hours with stops to eat and stretch and drink a lot of coffee. I burned five tanks of gas. In a ‘94 Miata.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “I regularly drive to a place out of town on the weekends where these is no charger. It’s about 160 miles away, so 320 miles round trip. That means I would need not 321 miles of range but 400 miles, since no one fills up their tank when it’s none dry, and no one waits until they’re burning through their last kilowatt-hour before they stop to charge their car. 520 miles is not excessive.”

      How dare you. slavuta has declared, once and for all, that you don’t exist–because your scenario is not real life.

      At least, not to the people with exactly zero imagination and/or life experience, who never left their mom’s basement.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        you misrepresenting what I said.
        I said that at this price point, this is experimental. With America being filled with poor people, I don’t see any future for these long range electric cars in the near term.
        You would need to be Luxembourg with tight controlled population of set of well to do people to see mass-use of these. If one person per million has this car… oh boy

  • avatar
    Matt Posky

    I probably drive 700 miles in a single day once per month, with stops averaging less than ten minutes, and it’s one of the core reasons why I’ve been so hesitant to embrace EVs.

    Until they can match internal combustion vehicles in terms of overall range and charging/refueling times, they can’t work with my lifestyle. Anyone who has ever taken an EV on a long road trip knows that you sometimes have to take extended detours to get to chargers and it ends up adding to the ETA.

    I’m positive most people don’t need to do more than 150 miles in a regular day. But not every day is the same and electrification ultimately limits what I can do with a vehicle. Sometimes those engineering targets aren’t so arbitrary as they seem.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Given upcoming battery densities, it’s a matter of time before there’s a 1000-mile EV. It will weigh half a ton more than a 150-mile EV and cost $15k more, but it will exist, and it will probably serve your trips. Until it’s ready, I understand your skepticism.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Given upcoming battery densities, it’s a matter of time before there’s a 1000-mile EV. It will weigh half a ton more than a 150-mile EV and cost $15k”

        $15K more for 7.5x range seems like a no brainer, why would anyone buy the 150 mile version?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Because why would you need 1000 miles range for your second car?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Because that would be awesome, why would I not? I’ve researched aftermarket fuel tanks for pickups because I want 400-500 miles range capabilities, I’m quite annoyed every car and usually truck model seems to target 300 city miles. How about instead of a 13.2 gallon tank why can’t I have an even 15gal on my Corolla IM, or even 20? My C3 Audi 100 had a 20.6 gal tank and at EPA 22 hwy that’s 453 miles, but realistically maybe 400-425 bc you didn’t want to run that old thing to empty. The IM gets 28 all around but only low 30s hwy, 28 is 369 miles and 31 is 409… but I’m not riding it to empty either so really 380s. A 15 gal tank takes me into 430s hwy and a 20gal nearly 600, why can’t I have this? I want to refuel as little as possible, all of the time and have the range in the event of the unforeseen. If I’m way out in the cut or far away from your familiar surroundings, I always like to have the gas topped off as much as I can. Last thing I want is the fuel light coming on in the mountains of BFE.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Additional: I just booked a room for a trip in two weeks, about 450 miles start to finish each way. If I take 522 I’ll stop at the first gas station in VA like I have in the past (and then the apple focused farmer’s market north of Winchester yum) but that one refueling should be sufficient to make it from there (303 miles). If we assume an average EV range of 300 miles and sufficient charging existed on the route, I’m still refueling but now for a hypothetical 60 min or more assuming a rapid 50kwh charger (drive 200 miles, refuel, finish 250). This is already about an eight hour drive, adding another hour isn’t making me thrilled.

            Not to mention the source I cite below has the 2019 Model S at 239 miles range so realistically I’m charging *twice* in my non-existent Model S (though perhaps the second charge could be a little less with just enough to get to the hotel depending on where along the route it took place).

            *holds up range* From my cold, dead, hands!

            “For many electric cars, you can add up to 100 miles of range in ~35 minutes with a 50kW rapid charger.”

            https://pod-point.com/guides/driver/how-long-to-charge-an-electric-car

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            For my family’s use, we’d do fine with one long-range EV. 300 miles would be the minimum, but more would be better up to about 600 miles, which is the most we’d ever do in a day. The second one needs 100 real-world miles at all times, which means 150 miles EPA range to take winter and idling into account.

            I continue to think 150 miles will emerge as the sweet spot for commuters and second and third cars.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          EV’s of the future will offer a range of battery sizes. (My family will get one extended range EV – the one used for road trips – and one around-town EV – the one with the less expensive battery. Because we are humble and simple people.)

          The Smart OEM of 2021 would offer a range of fuel capacities on current-production ICE vehicles [not all models – a bright 8th grader could tell you which ones to start with]. For the people who want it – and they do want it – the additional cost is a non-issue. (GM could call its larger/auxiliary fuel tank longer-range models “Super Cruise” – for example.)

          [Mary Barra – with availability on ~1/3 of models at a conservative take rate of ~10% and ~$750 MSRP, there’s a ~$75,000,000 revenue opportunity for you. Cost is “less” – much less.]

          (Why do I have to think of everything? Where have all the bright 8th graders gone??)

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          @ 28-Cars-Later Sir, please remember to keep it under 80MPH on I-81. VA resident here; speedometer is set so orange backlighting turns on a 77 MPH. Anything over 80 MPH is reckless driving in the dominion.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I’m convinced that any writer who says “X miles of range are enough/too many” doesn’t:

    -Have small kids, for which a 30 minute stop might as well be 3 hours.

    -Live somewhere that regularly sees subzero (F) temps every winter, immediately dropping 20% or more from the rated range.

    -Travel anywhere far from cities/interstates.

    Personally, even a rated 1000 mile EV would have value to me above and beyond a 900 mile one. 500 is probably the barest minimum I’d consider buying, unless and until recharge times reach parity with refueling a gas car.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “-Have small kids, for which a 30 minute stop might as well be 3 hours.”

      I have small kids and my experience is exactly the opposite. We take a lot of 30-minute and even longer stops for both potty and wiggles, and we need to take them often enough that a 300-mile electric car would work just fine for most of our trips.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        If the chargers are at a place a highway rest stop that they can run around, I might agree.

        If the chargers are at a place like a gas station, no effing way. In, out, back on the road.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    1,000 km (625 mile) range should be the minimum target for pickup EV’s. If you are towing or hauling you probably would drop your range to at least 1/2 that. An EV truck with that range would get me to most backcountry spots that I typically frequent.
    Cars aren’t typically affected much by passengers/load but one must look at speed and weather.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Here’s an actual scenario for you:
    From my house in Daytona to my grandparent’s house in Lake Placid FL is a 3 hour 200 mile trip one way. So I leave 630AM, arrive at 930AM hang out all day, leave at 8PM get home at 11. Because I am a wonderful person I visit several times a year.

    So with any under $70K BEV today I’m making a charge stop and because I don’t have prostate issues or the need for 8 meals a day so I’ll pretty much just be starting at Pornhub on my phone while my car is plugged in because there is nothing else to do.

    Is it the absolute death of me to have to make that stop? No, but it is an inconvenience I don’t deal with today and a BEV that can go 500 miles wouldn’t have the issue.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      Why wouldn’t you charge it at your parents?. They must have a dryer plug you could borrow.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Because the parents and grandparents don’t live at the same address?

        Even if they only live a mile away, you are going to have some issues:
        https://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Their laundry machines aren’t in the garage and the plug is also behind the dryer.

        I guess I could wiggle the dryer out of way and plug my $60K M3P into a long, heavy-gauge extension cord but that hardly sounds like the stuff dreams are made of. I’d probably rather just deal with the extra charge stop. But, an EV with more range would be even better.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “Why wouldn’t you charge it at your parents?. They must have a dryer plug you could borrow.”

        Good God. Open your mind here.

        Come to my house, I’ll show you where the dryer plug is.

        And it’s even available 24/7. I use a gas dryer. I could leave a charge cable plugged in.

        But if your car is in my basement, we both have bigger problems.

        Open your mind.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @jalop1991: Nothing wrong with stopping after 3 hours and it’s not an hour charge. I don’t know why ICE-stans have an issue with it unless they have some sort of fear that if they stick around in one place for too long someone will match up their plate with an amber alert or something.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            “Nothing wrong with stopping after 3 hours”

            Speak for yourself and your own weak bladder.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Nothing wrong with stopping after 3 hours and it’s not an hour charge”

            There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to stop either. Even that road safety article Jo cited stretched out to 4.5 hours.

            Like I said, it isn’t the end of the world or anything, but it’s not like it adds to the whimsy or enjoyment of the EV ownership experience either. However some people want to make it a bizarre selling point.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “or the need for 8 meals a day”

      Honest to God. I’ve been hearing that trope for 10 years from the Tesla stans. “It’s no big deal to stop for an hour. You have to eat, right?” Every 200 miles?

      Hey, Tesla stans–I think I’ve figured out your range issue.

  • avatar
    Scott-Asheville

    Expensive cars are emotion-driven status badges. And a $170,000 Lucid Air that goes 520 miles is currently the EV status badge to have. Is every wealthy poseur in California lining up to be the first to buy one? Enough said. Smart decision by Lucid. All those Lucid Air drivers will shortly be looking down their noses at the masses of lowly Tesla commoners.

  • avatar
    mmarton

    We regularly drive to the coast from where we live, about a 375-mile trip one way. I’d rather have the 520 range cushion to compensate for any weather conditions that drops an EVs mileage.

  • avatar
    Vae Victis

    “You don’t need to go 520 miles in one shot, non-stop, for any reason.” Wrong, Adolf, what I don’t need is a diktat decreed by a journalist whom I’ve never met and knows nothing about my needs or those of my family.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The Ministry of EV Propaganda put out directives to quash facts on how poor real life range actually will be without constant recharge, so the author chose the clever route of “You don’t need 520 miles” because in reality half of that will be lucky in most cases.

    • 0 avatar
      here4aSammich

      The author lost most of his/her (Jo?) credibility with a smug determination that I simply don’t need 520 mile EV range. She/he/it/they lost the rest with cheap shots like “McSubway”, and by ordering grilled cheese at the best fast food burger joint in the US. Typical coastal liberal elitism on display.

      Earlier this year we drove a BMW 520 from Detroit to Key West. Easily had over 500 miles range per tank. Stopped in Knoxville, Gainesville FL, and Homestead FL for gas on the way down. Could’ve skipped the Homestead stop, but gas gets pricey in the Keys. Because our goal was to get to our destination, we stopped for less than two hours each way. According to Tesla’s own website, stopping to charge would have added 8 hours to the trip. Thats why we didnt see an EV outside urban areas.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    This author is a little short on how road trips work.
    Just last week, I did Seattle to Chicago in 2 days. During day 1, I drove all the way through a tank of gas- 470 miles- between Superior and Crow Agency, Montana. Overall, I made only 3 stops per day (plus an overnight in Broadus, MT). Day 1, 1,000 miles, 13:38. Day 2, 1,017 miles, 13:36.
    With a 520-mile range, I might’ve only had to stop once per day. But would that range hold up going 90 up high passes?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This program brought to you by Lucid, the people who brought you CCIV bag holders at -66% (and is -2.82% on the day’s session).

  • avatar
    ollicat

    I used to drive 1000 miles in one day to college from my home, just two breaks to fill up gas and fill up my stomach. But remember, 500 miles is under ideal circumstances. If it is winter, that 500 becomes 380 miles of range.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    One of the great things about EVs is that they will allow people to scale range depending on their actual needs. 150-mile EVs that will work fine for most commuters, and almost all second- and third-car applications, will be absolutely dirt-cheap and relatively lightweight using upcoming battery technologies. And they’ll even work for the occasional road trip, just at the cost of some time. But for people who actually take a lot of long trips and will benefit from long range despite the extra cost and weight, 500-mile cars will be available, and in another generation or two of batteries it will be feasible to sell even 1000-mile cars.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I could see range become a luxury feature selling point in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        oh, absolutely. You people with the golf carts and the allowed one week of vacation per year, you’ll be stuck using two of those days just keeping the car filled with electricity. Now get back to work. And no excuses for coming in late the day after you get back. No, lack of charging is not a valid excuse.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “kBut for people who actually take a lot of long trips and will benefit from long range despite the extra cost and weight, 500-mile cars will be available”

      No they won’t. slavuta has spoken. That’s not real life, the need for it doesn’t and never will exist.

      BTW, you know what’s great about a Corolla vs an Escalade? The cheapest Corolla will get you to where you’re going in the same time as the expensive Escalade. No compromises in that regard.

      But under your scenario, the plebes who can’t afford the 1000 mile car get to waste a day or more of their week’s vacation charging up the car, while Elon and Bezos get to be chaufferred without stopping.

  • avatar
    gasser

    The time to recharge calculation is off. It may be 28 minutes to recharge, but you have to get to the front of the line and you have to have a VERY RAPID charger. My friends drove their Tesla to Palm Springs from L.A. on Thanksgiving weekend last year and were fourth in line to recharge. Anyone for a 3+ hour stopover at a charge point???

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Nothing like a writer on TTAC telling me what I do and don’t need.

    Considering that the 520 miles during the colder months is probably closer to, what, 400, I would take this any day. We drive 600 mile trips several times a year where the charging system is nonexistent. Even if it did exist, a bathroom break for us is about 10-15 minutes, which can easily be handled by most rest stops. Can I charge a car in 15 minutes effectively right now? Not the last time I checked.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    Hell yes. And note the price kicks Tesla’s a**.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    If you think the “mustang” mach-e is better than a 5.0 Foxbody, sell your Foxbody. If you think it’s a Mustang, shred your driver’s license.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” – Mae West

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    The author is correct. I don’t need 520 miles of range in an EV. In fact, I don’t need an EV at all. For what the Lucid costs, I can fill the 34-gallon tank in my Silverado 1000 times. Sure, the fuel economy is abysmal, but that’s still 600,000 miles worth of fuel for the same as a Lucid costs.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    I do agree that considering vehicle cost vs range, 500 miles is too much EV range for a passenger vehicle once the charging infrastructure becomes widespread, fast, AND reliable.

    Regardless of the range, drivers like to know such range is at least somewhat predictable and not subject to heavy reductions under load. I believe the sweet spot for 99.9% of car owner/renter use cases is a reliable 300 to 350 miles of EV range under realistic heavy load conditions such as driving interstate speeds in freezing or sweltering weather.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Well, that theory stated as fact about EV range requirements went over like a lead balloon with the commentariat, Mr Borras. Well done.

    Hard to tell whether Lucid is being praised or dunned in this piece. It seems to be legit from everything I’ve read elsewhere, but since the author hasn’t driven one, I’m left to wonder what he “thinks” of anything but the range. Though I doubt potential owners would wolf down greasy burger joint food during a fast charge; I don’t myself and I’m not close to being wealthy but there are limits.

    Piech was an autocrat who managed to retire as VW Group supremo at the tender age of 78 with a dozen illegitimate kids from various mistresses, so he wasn’t short a buck or two to keep the scandal merely simmering. Just couldn’t tear himself away from a life of ordering people about and having simpering acolytes trailing along behind his great self. And Surprise! In yet another stroke of genius, he retired just a few months before the Diesel scandal erupted in September 2015, suddenly all wore out. Well, anyone would be, wouldn’t they? After all that effort.

    As for the general comments on engineers having targets and standards, keep ’em coming! We love to hear opinions from the BA (Fine Arts) crowd to keep us grounded in societal reality.

  • avatar
    downunder

    Perhaps countries where enthusiasm for EVs is great, and infrastructure is weak, is where Lucid’s 520-mile range would be a godsend. And these aren’t third-world countries either. Between where I live and where my sister resides is a round trip of 500 miles and the only recharge points are my home, the city itself, and my sister’s home. So even the 520 range may not be enough. Unless Lucid is restricting itself just to the American market, and global markets are just a pipedream, the longer the range, the better. Everybody wants the “pull over, fill-up, get the coffe and drinks and leave in 15 minutes’ scenario, ALso if you point out that servo’s have charging points, yes they do, probaly a quarter of how many fuel pumps they have. So who wnat to sit in queue for 60 minutes waiting for your 20 minute turn. No either make your minds up, city/commute ranges for suburban/urban use only, or great long range capacity so that you can drive 8 hours, with breaks, to get where you are going.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    520 miles of range in an EV is too many, in the same way that 520 horsepower in an ICE is too many. People don’t need it, but they want it because it is more than the others have.

    • 0 avatar
      downunder

      So perhaps the government should legislate fuel tank sizes because a 20 gallon (80 litres) fuel tank can take you so far? What a brilliant idea. Limit the qty of fuel to ensure (1) we don’t drive too far(max 10 gallons) or (2) force manufacturers to improve the efficiency of the drive train so we can go further on less fuel…………oh they tried that.

  • avatar

    To go to Moon you need 238,900 mile battery. There are no charging stations between Earth and Moon.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Something I didn’t see mentioned that could make the whole EV range debate moot is inductive charging built into long stretches of highway, which is being explored right now by states like Michigan and Indiana.

    It sounds like sci-fi but if it actually comes to pass, it wouldn’t be necessary to stop an EV specifically to charge ‘ever’.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The Rust Belt states can’t keep up on road work needs now, and when they do, they take forever and a day! And how well will that work under a crust of snow and salt five months out of the year?

      It sounds good in theory, certainly. But it always seems like in practice, things always arise that weren’t accounted for on the back of the napkin.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        I’m going to guess it would be something along the lines of a dedicated toll lane, similar to the HOV lanes. You’d drive your EV onto the EV charge lane, a transponder would ding your credit card just like going through a toll booth, you charge while you drive for, say, a mile, then rejoin regular traffic with a recharged battery.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        sgeffe is 100% correct.

        All these pie-in-the-sky ideas come from people who live in LA or similar. They have absolutely no idea what the outside world is like.

  • avatar

    You can also charge moving vehicles using laser or microwave beams from space based solar power stations on Earth orbit.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I’m late to the article here but in total agreement with the rest of the comments here. Knock 20% off the advertised range off the bat because I don’t drive 55, another 10% for battery degradation later, another 50-60 miles in reserve because only an idiot runs a car down to E, and when all is said and done this “520 mile” edition is honestly good for a bit over 300.

    Which is a full 100 more than anything else on the market and comfortably adequate for day trips and even some overnights presuming the availability of a charger on the other end.

    Now wake me up when there’s one that doesn’t cost $170,000.

  • avatar
    GregLocock

    Yawn, another article written by someone who assumes he represents the entirety of humanity.

    OK, 4 times a year we drive from west of Melbourne to the north of Sydney (and back). We stop every couple of hours to swap drivers, and once for fuel, and once to eat lunch. 648 miles, usually takes about 10-11 hours. We sometimes drive the back way which adds half an hour.

    So to me, having 500 miles of range and only needing a 20% charge on the way (and having the freedom to choose when to do that) is far preferable to whatever Mr Borras thinks us poor peasants should have.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “Is anyone saying you can’t drive it for 2 hour stretches, top off the battery in 10 minutes or so and resume the trip? Wouldn’t it take less time to fill a 500+ mile battery with just 2 hours between stops?”

    Exactly, that would make me closer to buying an EV especially for traveling long distances. 500+ miles would be a game changer. I am not so opposed to EVs except their current range and the lack of infrastructure to support them but change those and I am on board. Also the development of lighter, less expensive, and longer lasting batteries would go a long way toward changing many people’s minds about EVs. I am open to eventually getting an EV but I want to wait till some of the issues I mentioned above get resolved. 500+ miles would be a game changer and offer 200+ mile smaller and less expensive EVs for commuting.

    Would like to see better longer lasting batteries developed for outdoor equipment as well. Cordless outdoor equipment has gotten better but it would be better to have equipment go an hour or more before charging. That would be enough to make me go all cordless and give up gas.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @JeffS: You can definitely make shorter stops less than the maximum range. In fact, for long trips, the best strategy is to make stops to keep the car in the maximum charge rate sweet spot. Back in my long-distance driving days, I definitely stopped every 200 to 250 miles and sometimes less. I’d do the same with a 500+ mile range EV. Now, I can afford to fly longer distance so driving is less than 200 miles a day. Even with something with 280 miles, I’d probably never see a public charging station. I don’t charge at public locations now.

      With outdoor equipment, you can definitely go longer than an hour. To do that you might need two batteries. A Greenworks Model 2531502 dual blade dual battery mower can go for 80 minutes (unless you are cutting deep wet grass). You can run it on just one battery, then swap after 40 minutes to the second. Go another 40 minutes, then, since the charge time is 40 minutes, you can swap in the second battery and keep going for hours if you had to. No hassling with ethanol ravaged Chinese carburetors. Oh, and Greenworks has an inverter that you can plug the batteries into so that you can use them as an emergency power source.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Meanwhile in Britain:

    https://news.trust.org/item/20211001205906-6xhb0

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Meanwhile in Britain:

      https://insideevs.com/news/537120/ev-chargers-switched-off-uk/

      Government not only mandating new construction have EV charging, but that the EV charging be under the control of the Crown.

      In the end, you don’t own the car or even the ability to fuel it.

      You all can have your iPhones with wheels.

  • avatar
    realdriver

    Maybe you are missing the point. 520 miles range, gives the reassurance that you can go almost anywhere in a typical day and get back home without charging the car. If you go on a road trip, you are also unlikely to run out of charge and can do so at your convenience.

  • avatar
    Quincyc

    I am sorry, as i think you may have spent a significant amount of time on this article. I blelive your logic is flaw on this instance. As a professional analyst, we need to think in a macro point of view. Sure, you are correct that one may not need to drive 520 miles daily. However, every extra mile will save stress on the charging network. For instace, imagine if ICE vehicles only have the range of 100 miles, one would expect a queue at every gas station. Now, we all know recharging batteries is a much longer task then traditional refuel; therfore, it only exacerbate the situation. Ultimately, the bottom line is that more range is better for the EV community, despite the need individually.

  • avatar
    Edwaan

    This article seems to come from ignorance, or at least not openly acknowledge not everybody drives in 70 degree weather all the time. BEVs can lose up to about 45% of their range in cold weather (say, about 5 degrees F), making 520 miles drop to just 286 miles. Suddenly doesn’t sound excessive or unneeded, huh? In reality, most won’t drop that far, but even if you lose “only” a third of your range in 20 degree weather or whatever, that still drops to about 345 miles per charge. Assuming most drivers won’t run the battery down till it’s dead, you would probably get about 300 miles of useable range, which is perfectly acceptable as a lower limit. I own a long range Model 3, and cold weather road trips are frustrating for these exact reasons. I love the car, but very much wish range was greater. If the base range on a BEV is, say, 325, that drops to about 215 in cold. Not great, especially if chargers are scarce is less populous areas. Finally, batteries lose capacity over time. Fast forward to having had your BEV for 7 or 8 years and drop the max range down to, say, 80% of the original, and now it’s base is 415 miles, which drops to as little as 230 miles in 5 degree weather or 275 miles in 20 degree weather. And each of these may drop another 30 miles for comfortable usable range so people aren’t sweating it pushing as far as possible before the battery totally dies, making it between 200-245 per charge. Suddenly doesn’t sound at all excessive. Please stop writing nonsense like this as it misleads those who aren’t familiar with these issues, and irritates those who are…

  • avatar
    Teslafan

    EVs need more range than ICE due to how battery management works.

    The recommended charge state for daily driving on EVs is between 20% and 80%, so technically, a 520 mile EV is really 312 miles without accounting for phantom drain and extreme weather which could potentially cut that range in half.

    Charging times and locations of charging stations is not really the issue because you should only be charging these EVs at their destinations (when parked), not charging them enroute as you normally do with ICE vehicles.

  • avatar
    AZKev

    Hilarious that people believe their little slice of the world represents everywhere else. Full disclosure: I’m one of those folks buying the Dream Edition. I’ll keep my comments to the title of this article, and not the car.

    We drive from Northeast of Phoenix to La Jolla, just north of San Diego five to six times per year. That’s 390 miles one way at 75-80mph and with very high grades as elevation changes several thousand feet on I8.

    Never have to stop with our BMW 7er cars, and not going to play “curse the charger and other EV drivers.” So the Dream is perfect for us. I’m thinking we may take a 10 minute top off as we get on the I8 at Gila Bend, certainly the first trip and we’ll see how it goes.

    And the Lucid manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona is state of the art, so we’re looking forward to taking delivery. (Had to get my Arizona plug in here!)

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @mcs–I would want to stop at 200 miles anyway just to rest and go to the bathroom so a quick recharge would not be a problem. I have a GreenWorks outdoor blower from Costco with 2 batteries and it at best goes 45 minutes. I also have a Skil cordless lawnmower with about 45 minutes and I ordered an extra battery with the same range from Amazon. I do have gas powered equipment as well but I have been using the cordless mower and blower mostly.

    I currently have a 2012 Buick Lacrosse E-Assist (hybrid) that gets over 25 mpgs city and 36 mpg highway, AWD 2013 Honda CRV not as good mpgs but over 30 mpg highway, and I have ordered a new Maverick hybrid truck which is suppose to get 40 mpg city and 35 highway. My vehicles are low mileage and so it would be at least 10 years before I would buy an EV.

  • avatar
    Chokoloco

    All of this talk about long range leaves out the massive benefit to short range drivers.

    Everybody drives 520 miles. Eventually. For me, it takes three months (average 6 miles round trip daily). The idea of only needing to plug my car into my electric grid for 30 minutes every three months is the closest thing to free energy that I’ve ever seen.

  • avatar
    cmitin

    What the author appears to forget is that EV range is far less precise than gas range. Here in CO. 520 miles could turn into 250 miles depending on which mountain passes, speed, temperature and other variables. Maybe in perfect conditions you’ll get 520 – but in the real world- I’m going to bet it will be less.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “THE NEED TO GO 520 MILES DOES NOT EXIST

    You don’t need to go 520 miles in one shot, non-stop, for any reason.”

    I love this. I love watching such insane ignorance be put forth in public forums. It’s like watching crazy street bums in the park, spewing random nonsense out into the world.

  • avatar
    wjtinfwb

    It pisses me off when some pundit makes a pronouncement like “You don’t need to go 520 miles in one shot, non-stop, for any reason. Even in the most optimistic scenario of open road driving at a steady 75 mph, that’s seven hours of solid driving.” YESTERDAY, I did 830 miles, Knoxville TN to Hartford CT in one 12 hr. day. 1 stop for gas in Maryland and another for food in PA. ’21 BMW 530i that gets 600 miles out of a tank at 80+ mph. My total stops we’re about 20 minutes for the gas and food, a long day but I had to get here and had a full car of product that I need for this trip. I routinely do 350 miles days for medical appointments 5 hours away from my home. A 500 mile EV would be the minimum I’d consider, unless they can get a full recharge time down to 15 minutes or less and there’s plenty of charging stations to eliminate back-ups and excessive waits. I enjoy driving, it works for my personal and business needs and in anything better than a ’95 Cavalier is not unpleasurable for me. Stop painting everyone with your brush, there are plenty of people like me, who drive long distances and for which the current crop of EVs and the infrastructure make zero sense.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    True the need to go 520 hours might not exist for most of us but having that capacity and being able to charge within 10 minutes when taking a rest stop on a long trip is significant for larger adoption of EVs. Waiting a half hour or a couple of hours for a recharge makes traveling long distances with an EV impractical for most. That is one of the reasons I would not buy an EV now along with higher price for most and lack of infrastructure. I would rather have the extra range than not enough.

  • avatar
    Combustible

    I really started to question your opinion on this topic when I learned you live in California. Maybe electric charging stations are on every corner there but not in Texas. And when I read that you willingly went to In-N-Out burger, and started to imagine what kind of a person actually likes that place, I knew beyond any doubt your assessment was total garbage.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    The funniest thing about the comments on this article are all of the non-EV owners (read: virtually every commenter) proclaiming EVs’ unsuitability for their random edge-case usage scenario.

    I’m sorry, but until you’ve actually LIVED with an EV, you have no earthly idea what you’re talking about.

    I’ve owned an EV for 3 years/36K miles, so I know first-hand what it’s like.

    Is it different than owning an ICEV? Naturally.

    My wife and I recently did a 400-mile (one-way) trip, she in her 650-mile range diesel SUV and me in my 250-mile range EV. She arrived about 10 minutes before I did. That’s an example of an EV’s “disadvantage” for most people.

    The flip side, of course, is that my car starts every day with a full tank, and I save at least 4 hours a year by never needing to go to a gas station. And even though her SUV gets about 32 mpg out on the freeway, my EV is 3x more efficient, in addition to being WAY faster and smoother.

    The vast majority of EV owners will never consider buying an ICEV again, as the overall ownership/driving experience is simply much better.

    Are EVs for everyone right now? Obviously not, but they’re already right for a much larger percentage of people than currently realize it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    A 520 mile range if it happens would be a game changer and yes it would matter to most who are sitting on the fence when it comes to buying an EV.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    So far this year (since May) we have left WI to go to Camden MO, Emporia KS twice and Southern CA. Only one time did we eat at the same area we filled up. The best range our minivan could do was 585 miles on one tank, meaning we only had to stop for lunch on the way to MO and filled up when we got to the hotel area but we did have to stop on the way home because the trailer was no longer empty. Same on the way back from KS. No gas station where we ate lunch? No big deal, we can stop later at our convenience and top of in a few minutes and grab a soft drink.

    Yes, not having to stop to refuel in a regular ICE is a nice thing also.

    If the Lucid does really top off that quick to actual 100%, that would be a car I would look at to replace our Sedan. Might even work for some road trips.

    A Tesla will refill to 80% in 40 minutes. They also tell you not to go below 20% so now I have 60% of stated range for battery maintenance so a Model 3 goes 211 miles to save the batteries. If that were true of the Air, that would be 312 miles.

  • avatar
    probert

    They’re only aiming to sell about 20,000 of the things. There should be enough wealthy folks to make that happen. It is a very good looking car, and unlike a Tesla, you can revel in french stitching or whatever premium people think is premium.

  • avatar
    hammerlock

    Are you on crack, there are reason you might drive 520 miles with stopping, or for that matter 250 with recharging and returning home. you know its your choice, the driver decides. Maybe places don’t and won’t gave chargers and it would be nice to be able to plan road trips without thinking of recharging. Really the range should be longer so you don’t have to charge everyday. When electric cars are forced on the massive, many won’t have place to charge their cars at night, yet there need to for a car will not disappear. Of course any who buys a Lucid will own a charger but average common person needs range to live their life.

  • avatar
    cleanOnTheInside

    I can’t recall ever typing these words to anyone as an adult — you are an absolute idiot.

    If you want to talk about what we don’t need, let’s talk about all the +700hp cars on highways with 55 MPH limits. I don’t want those to go away, but it’s a WAY more valid question for discussion and a better use of the 1,582 words and 8,858 characters of this post.

  • avatar
    chrisdswift

    It is a mystery to us Brits why Americans and Canadians refer to toilets as ‘bathrooms’ even on an aeroplane! I’ve never come across a bath in these places. Would someone explain?

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Another scenario where this kind of range would be helpful:
    – Charge vehicle at home on Thursday night.
    – Do the 60-mile commute on Friday (30 miles each way; don’t charge at work).
    – Change clothes, load the car and drive 100 miles into the wilderness to camp for two nights (tent, next to the vehicle).
    – While there, use ~1/4 of the vehicle battery (130 ‘miles’) to power campsite equipment (low amperage with long hours) and/or power equipment (high amperage with lower usage).
    – Drive 100 miles home.
    – Arrive home with ~1/4 charge remaining for contingency/reserve/cold weather/real life.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ToolGuy: This is how much I know about diesel pickups… -holds forefinger and thumb at 10mm gap-. But I do know...
  • dal20402: If you’re using the truck commercially, then the fuel economy over a couple of years is enough to pay...
  • FreedMike: Well, yeah, each car will have its’ strengths and weaknesses, but assuming they all have acceptable...
  • dal20402: At least $30k, probably more. The ILX is priced like the loaded two-gens-old Civic it is. The Integra...
  • kcflyer: I hope the rev hang issue has been worked out. I realize thanks to engineering explained it’s because...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber