Lucid Air electric car: US EPA records 520-mile range
Range-topping version of US startup’s electric car will do up to 520 miles on a charge, according to EPA figures
American startup company Lucid's Air luxury electric car has recorded a maximum range of 520 miles in testing by the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This makes it the longest-range production electric car on sale – although it's not currently offered in the UK or other European markets.
The longest-range electric cars currently available here are the Tesla Model S Long Range (405 miles) and Mercedes EQS (453 miles), although both of their figures were recorded under the WLTP testing system, which is not directly comparable with the EPA regime.
The 520-mile figure was recorded by the range-topping Lucid Air Dream model, which uses a 113kWh battery; an entry-level version with a 92kWh battery will also be available. The car also features 900v electrical architecture, making it the first production model capable of charging at more than 300kW. That means a suitable rapid public charger can add 20 miles of range per minute, or 300 miles in 20 minutes, to the Air.
Lucid Air styling, interior and technology
At the front, the Lucid Air does without a conventional grille, with only a small black stripe connecting the slim LED headlights. The panoramic windscreen extends past the top of the A-pillars above the occupants’ heads, while to the side, every version gets flush door handles and a high beltline. There’s a full-width light bar at the rear, with Lucid lettering on the bootlid.
Inside there is a 34-inch curved ‘Glass Cockpit’ 5K display, which stretches from the instrument binnacle, to the traditional infotainment display in the middle of the dashboard. There is a second retractable central ‘Pilot Panel’ on the lower centre console, allowing for “deeper control of the vehicle’s systems and functions”.
As well as the high-tech interior, higher-spec versions of the Air come with what the company calls ‘DreamDrive Pro’ – a full suite of driver assistance systems including highway assist, blind-spot monitoring with blind-spot display and autonomous emergency braking, among others. These systems use information from 32 sensors covering “vision, radar and ultrasonics” and can accept over-the-air (OTA) software updates. Standard on the Dream, they're available as options on the cheaper Pure and Touring models.
The EPA has yet to test the Pure or Touring versions, but the projected range for both is just over 400 miles thanks to their 92kWh battery. The $77,400 (£56,000) Pure produces 473bhp from a single electric motor that powers the rear wheels, but all-wheel drive is available, too. The Touring pumps out a healthy 611bhp and comes with a dual-motor setup and all-wheel-drive as standard. Prices for the Touring start from $95,000 (£69,000).
Above those is the $139,000 (£100,000) Grand Touring with all-wheel-drive, 789bhp and the 113kWh battery for an official range figure of 516 miles. At the top of the range is the Dream, which starts from $169,000 (£122,000). Reservations have now closed for this version, but it was available to order in two configurations: 'Range' makes 920bhp and returns the headline 520-mile figure, while the Performance drops that to 471 miles, but ups power to 1,095bhp for a 0-62mph time of 2.5 seconds.
There's currently no news on if or when the Lucid Air will be available in the UK. However, the company opened European reservations in January 2020 and said that “expansion in Europe is planned in the future, including a right-hand-drive model for the UK”. The Air will be followed by an electric SUV to be unveiled in 2023, and which Lucid is currently referring to as Project Gravity.
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