The Leader In the Electric Car Industry Tesla Challenged By A Potential New Star In The Field
Lucid's Air model can travel 517 miles on a single charge, as well as a quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds, setting new industry records
Peter Rawlinson sits relaxed in the director's chair but emphasizes every word: "Our technology is ahead of everyone in the world," says the Briton. Behind Rawlinson, in the showroom of his company Lucid Motors in Newark, California, you can see this technology, painted in a color that the company calls "Eureka gold": Lucid Air Dream Edition.
The $ 169,000 luxury sedan from the Silicon Valley startup is also a message to former Rawlinson boss Elon Musk: In the race for the best electric car, the best batteries, and the best software, the Tesla boss will no longer be able to outrun everyone.
And so - Lucid introduced its all-electric sedan Air, which is more efficient, faster, and more spacious than the Model S of the market pioneer Tesla Inc.
"What we have is a breakthrough in electric cars," Lucid Rawlinson, CEO, told the media ahead of Air's presentation. "This is not only due to the batteries, but to the overall meaning of our concept," he said.
Rawlinson, a former Model S chief engineer and vice president of engineering at Tesla from 2009 to 2012, claims that the high-end version of the Air is 17% more energy-efficient than Tesla models, allowing more mileage with fewer cells.
Air is very similar to the prototypes and concept of the car that Lucid introduced in 2016. The company made small changes to the exterior, including larger, side mirrors that meet the requirements, as well as curved screens in the interior.
The car is expected to be able to run 517 miles on a single charge, according to third-party tests. In this respect, the model is already ahead of the industry leader Tesla, whose Model S travels 402 miles on a single charge. Air also travels a quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds, according to Rawlinson. At the same time, Tesla's fastest model travels a similar distance in 10.4 seconds.
"This has not been achieved so far," Rawlinson said, adding: "An electric car with a mileage of 500 miles and the fastest thing on the planet."
Thanks to the 900-volt architecture, the car can be charged for mileage of 300 miles in 20 minutes. The highest charging speed is 2 miles per minute, according to Lucid.
The starting price of Air will vary between 80 thousand dollars for the base model to 169 thousand dollars for the limited edition Dream Edition.
The company plans to launch a Grand Touring version of the 517-mile Air for $ 139,000, as well as a Touring version of the 406-mile sedan for $ 95,000.
The performance and mileage of the car vary depending on the price. The highest class models offer power up to 1080 horsepower. Lucid plans to release the model in black, white and gold.
Higher priced cars are expected to hit the market in the second quarter of 2021, followed by lower priced models in the fourth quarter and 2022.
Lucid points out that the main difference for each version of Air is the interior. According to Derek Jenkins, vice president of design at Lucid, Air offers the space of a large sedan in a medium-sized car.
The car has a "floating" information screen behind the wheel, as well as a touch screen at an angle in the lower central part of the dashboard.
The company says Lucid Air can hold as much cargo as four cars from rival manufacturers.
Rawlinson expects Air to be the catalyst for the realization of a range of future all-electric vehicles, including SUV models, which will start production in early 2023. From the company have already shared photos of their future SUV called Gravity, which is currently developing process.
The company's management has revealed that it is developing an ESS product line based on stationary energy storage systems at home, for business and the network. The plan is similar to Tesla's for SolarCity and is tied to the photovoltaic business.
But unlike Tesla, Lucid does not currently build or operate its own charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Instead, the company partnered with Electrify America. The first customers to purchase Lucid Air will receive 3 years of free charging at Electrify America stations, the company said.
Air is expected to begin production of its electric vehicle in the beginning of 2021 at the factory which is still under construction in Casa Grande, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix. Production was scheduled to begin later this year, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The $ 700 million facility is expected to have an initial production capacity of 34,000 vehicles, which Rawlinson says will grow to a maximum capacity of 400,000 units by the end of the decade.
Lucid is among several startup electric carmakers and "traditional" carmakers trying to compete with Tesla.
The company was founded in 2007 as Atieva, the name it now uses for its engineering and technology team, which supplies batteries to the Formula E electric car races.
About The Author
Nick R. is data researcher and contributer in the automotive industry. He specializes in the car parts researching and development. Working for some of the biggest auto manifactureres Nick is also proud to be a member of organisations promoting the "green" transportation.