Tesla could be crowned as the founder company that started the trend of EVs almost a decade back. Since then, not only has it improved continuously, but it has also motivated other significant stakeholders in the vehicle manufacturing industry to start manufacturing EVs. However, none of the competitors could come close to Tesla as it remains one of the biggest sellers of consumer electric vehicles in the US and globally. But, one of the EV manufacturers that is going to give a tough time to Tesla is Lucid Motors. Their luxury sedan Lucid Air is one of the top choices available in the market for consumers.
A brief history of Lucid Motors:
Lucid Motors is an electric vehicle manufacturing company based in the US. Peter Rawlinson is the CEO of Lucid Motors, and he has a fascinating history. He also served at Jaguar, which specializes in making sports cars, and apart from that, he served at Tesla as the VP of Engineering. He is the one who helped Tesla develop their model S. In 2013, he resigned from there and joined an EV setup that later came to be known as Lucid Motors.
Lucid Motors unveiled the prototype in 2016 to the public, with the production version unveiled in 2018. In 2018, a modified lucid air prototype set the new EV world record by covering a lap in 1:41.67, beating the Jaguar I pace by 7 seconds, which formerly held the record at 1:48.18.
In 2018, Lucid Motors signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. This provided a 1-billion-dollar investment to start the production of the Air. After almost a year, in May 2019, Lucid Air was available for pre-order in the US and Canadian Markets.
Lucid Motors had clear goals associated with the Air variant. According to the CEO, they wanted to beat the industry’s average of 3 miles/ kWh and take it up to 5 miles/ kWh, something no one from their competitors had achieved. Their goal was to reduce the battery size without it having an effect on the range of the car. The key to achieving this lies in unlocking better technologies that help the batteries keep the charge for a longer time. Secondly, Lucid Motors aims to provide a consumer vehicle that costs less than $30,000. The CEO also hinted that they could use the decreasing prices of the batteries to their advantage.
Features of the EV:
As is the trend with most of the other EV models, Lucid Air also comes in multiple variants. Initially, the EV was introduced in the market as the Dream variant. Later in 2022, Lucid announced four other variants, including Pure, Touring, Grand Touring, and the Sapphire. The idea was to provide as many options to the people as possible so the chances of people getting what they exactly want increase.
Powertrain means the assembly of all the components that set your car in motion. It is the feature that sets Lucid Air apart from its competitors. Mostly, companies install heavy batteries inside consumer electric vehicles. The idea is to provide more energy and thus more range. But, somehow, it backfires because the setup becomes heavy, and therefore, it requires more energy to accelerate the car through the same distance as compared to an electric car with a lighter powertrain. The entire powertrain of Lucid Air weighs online 163lbs and provides thrice the amount of energy as the powertrain present in the Tesla. Therefore, the powertrain of lucid Air offers a combination of better technology and less weight which incredibly boosts the range of the car, giving it a range that no other competitor parallels.
The entry-level Air pure comes with an 88 kWh battery. Even though it might seem a bit less, provided the price of the car, the fact to be kept in mind here Is the better mileage provided by the car. As the CEO said, their aim is to provide up to 5 miles/kWh; even with 88kWh, they can get up to 400 miles of range which is absolutely exceptional. The Air Dream Edition comes with 112 kWh of battery, whereas the Sapphire edition is loaded with 118kWh of battery.
This is the aspect where Lucid Air completely outclasses all of its competitors. These consumer vehicles provide from 400-520 miles of range, starting from the base variant to the top model. This range makes long travels possible like never before. Now people do not have to think multiple times before making highway trips or searching for nearby stations repeatedly. If the car is at 100%, they can start their journey confidently without looking for charging stations repeatedly along the way.
Lucid Motors have revolutionized the charging of consumer electric vehicles. They have signed an agreement with Electrify America, allowing them to provide a nationwide charging plan to the customers. The striking thing here is the fast charging capabilities offered by the chargers and the vehicles. Porsche Taycan used the 800-volt DC charging system, and now it is fully compatible with Lucid Air variants. Consumers using a 300kW or higher charging facility can gain up to 300 miles of range within 20 minutes. Imagine just how cool and convenient it seems. Stop along a charging station on the highway, put your vehicle on the charge, grab a sandwich from the store, do some sightseeing for a few minutes and boom, you have got 300 miles of range in your electric car. This aspect alone can pull hundreds of thousands of customers from other consumer electric vehicle brands towards Lucid.
The CEO, Mr. Peter, also recognizes the importance of this feature as he believes that consumers’ future intense usage patterns and time constraints would definitely make much use of this facility.
Now, the question is, “Will the continuous fast charging affect the battery health?”. Lucid Motors themselves have answered this question as they claim that their 2170 battery cells are quite different from the usually used lithium-ion cells and that these cells would not be affected by repetitive cycles of fast or standard AC charging.
The latest Lucid consumer electric vehicles also come with a reverse charging facility. Usually, people use home-based charging stations to charge their cars. In the case of a power outage, they can use the energy from their car’s battery to power the house. This is the concept of reverse charging. Although only a few people would use this feature frequently, the one or two times, they might need it makes it worth the extra money.
Apart from the phenomenal range and commendable shape of the car, the stunning acceleration is the third aspect that needs attention. Due to less weight of the powertrain and better aerodynamics, the lucid Air can go from 0-60mph in just 2.6 seconds. Keep in mind that it is not a sports car, and this figure becomes all the more impressive. The top speed of the Air Sapphire goes up to 200mph, requiring only 2 seconds to go from 0-60mph.
The torque ranges from 600Nm on the entry variant to 1,390Nm on the Dream variant. Definitely, you will get adrenaline rushing through your vessels no matter which variant you choose.
Lucid Motors announced this feature in July 2020, which is one further leap toward autonomous driving. This driver-assistance system consists of 32 sensors and 14 cameras with distribution as follows:
- Three forward-facing cameras
- Four side and rear-facing cameras
- Four surround-view cameras
- A single rear-facing camera
- A rear-facing fisheye camera
- A drive-monitoring camera
In addition to that, there are five radar units installed in the vehicle as well. One is a long-range sensor installed anteriorly, and the other is four short-range sensors. Also, there is a forward-facing, long-range Lidar that handles the three-dimensional space ahead of the car. The idea is to facilitate the driver as much as possible and also to make an autonomous driver safer in the future.
Lucid Air has won the Motor Trend Car for the Year 2022. Safer to assume that it is one of the most popular and worth-the-money consumer electric vehicles available in the market. Even though the price has increased slightly, this vehicle still outnumbers all the competitors on paper. The goals that the company is focusing on are remarkable, and certainly, the current versions might get even better with updates as time goes on. Apart from that, the aerodynamics, combined with the better batteries, give this sedan quite a long range. The long range combined with fast charging support alone would be strong enough to attract customers from the competitors.