Like it or not, range has become the primary criteria by which electric vehicles are judged. Even though most Americans travel fewer than 73 miles a day, and the fact almost every EV owner wakes up to a freshly charged battery each morning, there remains a deep-seated psychological dread at the possibility of having to drop everything and drive from New York to California with as little time spent stationary as possible. Limited range remains frequently used as justification as to why the EV is a mere fad and will never actually catch on.
Well, road trippers, you’ll soon need to find a new excuse not to go electric. Independent testing of the Lucid Air, which goes into production towards the end of the year, has determined that the car is able travel 517 miles (832km) on a single charge.
When I spoke with Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson earlier this year, he told me that the company was targeting at least 400 miles (643km) from a single charge, which would make the Air competitive with the longest-range EV currently on the market. But when FEV North America, a Michigan-based engineering company, put an Air through the EPA’s multitest cycle procedure, the results were far in excess of this internal goal.
“I’m delighted that the Lucid Air has been independently verified by FEV to achieve an estimated EPA range of 517 miles, and that this landmark in the history of EV development has been achieved entirely through Lucid’s in-house technology,” Rawlinson said. “I believe that our 900-volt architecture, our race proven battery packs, miniaturized motors and power electronics, integrated transmission systems, aerodynamics, chassis and thermal systems, software, and overall system efficiency has now reached a stage where it collectively sets a new standard and delivers a host of ‘world’s firsts.'”
The official launch of the Air, which starts at $60,000, is scheduled for a September 9 livestream.