The upcoming 2022 Lucid Air has smashed through an official electric vehicle range record, scoring an impressive 520 miles – 837km – driving range according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The newly published driving range by the EPA on the fueleconomy.gov website is the first recorded above 500 miles, and notably beats the Tesla Model S which famously became the first EV to record a 400+ mile range in 2020.
While most people generally do not drive these sorts of distances during a typical daily commute, many drivers still want to know they can cover long distances when needed.
And given most EVs only typically reach official ranges in the most optimistic of circumstances, this is probably not a bad thing.
Tesla may well have broke the 400-mile barrier in June 2020 by 2 miles, but it was not for long. In September, Lucid – a Saudi-backed EV startup headed by ex-Tesla engineer Peter Rawlinson – unveiled its Lucid Air with a claimed 406-mile (653km) range, beating the Model S by 4 miles.
But now the official figures are out, and the Lucid Air Dream R all-wheel-drive edition with 19″ wheels beats the Model S Long Range (which also comes with 19″ wheels and is now listed with 405 miles official EPA range) by 115 miles (185km).
“I’m delighted that our Lucid Air Dream Edition Range has been officially accredited with a range of 520 miles by the EPA, a number I believe to be a new record for any EV,” said Rawlinson in a statement.
The new official range also beats previous independent testing conducted on Lucid’s behalf in 2020 that said the Lucid Air could achieve 517 miles (832km) thanks to an industry-beating drag coefficient of 0.21.
While Lucid is (somewhat in contrast to its moniker) not exactly clear on its site about what the battery size is, Rawlinson stated regarding the official range announcement that, “Crucially, this landmark has been achieved by Lucid’s world-leading, in-house EV technology, not by simply installing an oversize battery pack,” he said.
Other equally mind-blowing specs for the Lucid Air include a maximum 1,111 horsepower for the range-topping Air Dream Edition Performance, acceleration 0-60 miles per hour (96.5km/hr) in 2.5 seconds, and a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds.
The Air also includes semi-autonomous driving technology called “DreamDrive” that uses a whopping 32 sensors including cameras, radar, ultrasonic technology, and (in stark contract to Tesla, which has now switched to camera-only autonomy) a high-res LIDAR which it says works in almost any weather condition.
The base-level Lucid Air Pure starts from $US77,400 ($A106,157 converted) and ranges up to $USD139,000 ($A190,645 converted) for the range-topping Air Grand Touring. It is available to reserve in a number of countries including the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK and numerous countries in Western Europe.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.