For Lucid’s Air EV sedan, performance and prestige come at a price

After multiple production delays and setbacks, Lucid Motors gave the EV driving public its first look at the upcoming Lucid Air sedan during a live-streamed reveal event on Wednesday. With an expected range far exceedingly even the most robust Tesla Model S, Lucid’s all-electric sedan is poised to give its EV competitors a run for their money. It will have potential buyers running for their wallets as well because holy moly these cars are going to be pricey.

Built on the Lucid Electric Advanced Platform (LEAP), the all-wheel-drive Lucid Air will be powered by either a single, double, or triple electric motor set producing a whopping 1,080 horsepower between them. That’s enough, the company claims, to propel the Air from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds with a 217-mph top speed. It can complete a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds. The vehicle will also of course ride on an air suspension to help mitigate road vibration.   

The Air’s 113 kWh battery pack is only slightly larger than the 100-kWh used in Tesla’s Model S Long Range Plus Yet Lucid claims that the Air will be able to travel up to 517 miles on a single charge, easily dwarfing the Model 3’s 402 miles (and really any other EV vehicle currently on sale). This extended distance is brought about in part by the vehicle’s hyper-efficient battery management system and in part by its ludicrously low 0.21 drag coefficient, which will make the Air the most aerodynamic EV on the market. Of course, the distance Air drivers can travel will depend on the class of Air that they purchase, as the lower tier builds will offer less.   

As the company claimed in August, the Air will be the fastest charging EV on the market when it becomes available. Thanks to the vehicle’s unique 900V electrical architecture, a level 23 DC fast charger can pour up to twenty miles of charge into the Air every minute. That works out to 900 miles of range an hour. What’s more, the Air will offer bidirectional charging, meaning that you can either charge your car from your home’s power supply or augment your home’s power supply with your car in the event of an outage.

The first available Air, coming out spring 2021, is the “all-inclusive, limited-volume” Air Dream Edition (465 – 503-mile range). It features every bell and whistle the company could pack into its chassis and will retail for, no seriously, $169,000. Luckily, all four classes are eligible for the federal $7,500 EV tax credit so that should take a bit of the sting out of your six-figure car purchase. Production is slated to begin at the company’s Casa Grande, AZ facility later this year.

Menlo Park-based Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 with an initial focus on building EV battery packs for other manufacturers. Atieva, the company’s technology wing, currently supplies the batteries used in all 24 Formula E race cars in conjunction with McLaren. It wasn’t until 2014 that the company shifted its focus on developing the aluminum frame prototype vehicle (codenamed Atvus) that eventually became the Air with plans to begin production two years later. However, the start of production was subsequently kicked back to late 2018 and again too late 2020.

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