Lucid Air coming for Tesla with 517 miles of range

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

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

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

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

Lucid Air prototypes parked

Lucid Air prototypes parked

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

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

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

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