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Lucid Air EV Might Have Tesla’s Longest Range Beat by More Than 100 Miles

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As of today, Tesla is the only member of the 400-mile-range electric car club, with its Model S Long Range Plus squeaking in with a 402-mile range. But soon, it may have to draw up chairs for Mercedes-Benz-whose EQS sedan could offer up to a 435-mile range-and fellow Californian EV startup Lucid Motors, which claims to have not only broken to 400-mile barrier, but busted the 500-mile door down too in independent testing.
In a release issued Tuesday morning, Lucid states that its upcoming luxury sedan, simply named the Air, achieved the equivalent of 517 miles on a full charge. This result was allegedly attained by vehicle testing firm FEV North America on a test that “closely follows” the EPA’s Multi Cycle Test Procedure, specifically the SAE J1634 standard introduced in October 2012.
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Lucid claims the Air’s supposedly miraculous range is the result of a high-efficiency, 900-volt electric powertrain, which is 100 volts higher than that used in the Porsche Taycan, and the highest yet seen in a passenger vehicle. The automaker also boasts of its advanced battery management, which it refined via its tech subsidiary Atieva; joint supplier of Formula E’s current battery packs with McLaren Advanced Technologies.
But Lucid also admits that the Air wasn’t tested according to current North American EV standards, which still adhere to the SAE’s J1634 protocols, albeit a set updated in 2017. Lucid says its test was run using the older, 2012-standard methodology, and while it doesn’t disclose why it or FEV elected to run that test, it raises questions as to why Lucid would publish results of a test now considered obsolete.
Mercedes-Benz caught flak last year for issuing range estimates according to the antiquated NEDC metric, and Lucid deserves scrutiny here for the same reasons. The Drive reached out for a statement on why Lucid published the results of a test using outdated methodology, and will update when we receive comment.
Lucid Motors promises to reveal a production-ready Air on September 9-hopefully with a more trustworthy range figure to advertise. If not, keep a close eye on FuelEconomy.gov, where the Lucid Air’s final range figure should eventually be found.
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