AMERICAN upstart Lucid Motors claims the title of longest-ranged electrical car, with the Lucid Air Dream Version Vary provided with a colossal EPA-certified 520-mile (or 837km) single-charge vary. And, it appears, vary is what everybody appears to need proper now: the flagship of the Air household is in scorching demand and has already sold-out mere months after launch.
That hefty vary quantity handily eclipses the 652km provided by the 2022 Tesla Mannequin S and the 602km vary of the Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary AWD, each of that are the present vary kings on sale in Australia (although it needs to be famous that each of their claims are below the WLTP customary, reasonably than the US EPA guidelines).
For context, different big-battery EV choices just like the Polestar 2 Lengthy Vary Single Motor and Porsche Taycan GTS are in a position to journey as much as 540km and 504km respectively on a single cost on the mixed cycle.
The Lucid Air Dream Version Vary’s, erm, vary is an enormous step up from what’s at present in the marketplace even when accounting for potential variations between WLTP and EPA protocol, the previous of which tends to ship a better quantity than the latter.
Lucid’s big selection benefit is basically right down to pure physics reasonably than engineering trickery. The Air Dream Version Vary shoehorns a 118kWh lithium-ion battery pack into its chassis, giving it the flexibility to retailer a amount of vitality that different EVs can’t match. The Taycan GTS, for instance, makes use of a 93.4kWh battery, whereas the Tesla Mannequin 3 Efficiency has 82kwh at its disposal and the aforementioned Polestar 2 makes do with a mere 78kWh pack.
Aerodynamics do have an element to play, and the Air’s drag coefficient of 0.21 is certainly very low for a manufacturing car, however the vital ingredient that offers it such lengthy legs is the sheer amount of battery cells (which in Lucid’s case are equipped by LG Chem). It additionally confers eye-watering efficiency, with a 0-96km/h dash time of two.5 seconds, peak energy of 1111hp (828kW), and a prime pace of 270km/h.
That stated, when damaged right down to a kilometre-per-kilowatt-hour determine, the Air Dream Version does extract extra distance from the identical quantity of vitality than Tesla is ready to obtain. For the Mannequin S (non Plaid), a single kilowatt hour from its 100kWh battery delivers 6.52km of vary. The Lucid Air Dream Version Vary, in the meantime, travels 7.09km per kilowatt hour on the identical check protocol.
Lucid’s tech clearly has an effectivity benefit, not only a capability one.
Priced from US$169,000 (AU$226,995) within the USA, all 520 Lucid Air Dream Editions are already offered out. Heading to its web page on Lucid’s web site brings up a “Reservations Closed” graphic, and a hyperlink to affix the waitlist of would-be prospects – or a minimum of those that aren’t prepared to take care of scalpers promoting just-delivered Air Dream Editions on-line for effectively north of US$200,000.
All different variants of the Air – Pure, Touring and Grand Touring – stay obtainable for order.
But whereas demand seems to be operating scorching for the Air, Lucid’s prospects for the Australian market are nonetheless unclear.
The corporate briefly opened an Australia-specific web page to take expressions of curiosity – and $400 money deposits – for the Air again in late 2020, nevertheless that web page has since disappeared.
Final 12 months a Lucid spokesperson was additionally quoted as saying that the corporate doesn’t but have a timeline for right-hand-drive manufacturing, suggesting that native Lucid followers could have an extended wait forward of them.