Back in February, before the entire state of California went on lockdown, Lucid Motors was busy doing some long range testing in its Air sedan prototype. Ever since the car was first teased, Lucid has thrown around some pretty big numbers, including 400 plus miles of range, a 0-60 time of around 2.5 seconds, and a top speed of over 200 miles per hour.
Thursday Lucid backed up its claim that the Air can rack up 400 miles on a charge by posting video of the prototype running from San Francisco to Los Angeles without a charge. The R&D team drove the smart-looking sedan down the coast along highway 1 before an overnight stop in LA for a charge up, then drove back north the following day taking the 5 through the central valley, allegedly staying as close to the 70 mph speed limit as possible.
About a year ago Tesla increased the range of its longest range Model S to 370 miles, and just last month increased it again to 390 miles, edging ever closer to the magic 400 mile number. Lucid says the Air was designed with every minuscule efficiency in mind, allowing it to produce this kind of range with a smaller battery. I probed a Lucid representative for an example and was told “even the Air’s 900+ volt system is designed to use smaller gauge wiring, thereby reducing weight. It’s all down to the smallest details in every aspect of the car’s design and engineering, including aerodynamics, powertrain, electrical, and auxiliary systems.”
That’s still a little vague, but certainly interesting. I look forward to learning more about the Air, and perhaps testing this long range for myself.
Obviously, without a third party in on the game, it’s difficult to corroborate that this is 100% truth. Much of the driving wasn’t shown in the short promotional video, so we don’t know if the drivers were using hypermiling techniques to get the vehicle to the finish line. Nor do we know how much charge the Air still had in its battery when the challenge ended. There isn’t any reason not to trust Lucid’s account of events, but until these numbers have been achieved by consumers or third-party testers, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
There is still a lot not known about the Lucid Air, including the size of its battery pack, the power output of its electric motors, or how long it takes to charge up.