Here’s how Lucid left Tesla in its wake with 520 miles of electric car range
Luxury electric car startup Lucid Motors kicked off production at its Casa Grande, Ariz., factory this week and is coming out of the box with a strong effort that beats rival Tesla in one key area.
Its launch vehicle, the Lucid Air sedan, boasts a maximum driving range of 520 miles per charge, far surpassing the Tesla Model S Long Range’s rating of 405 miles.
Lucid’s top figure is for the 933 horsepower $169,990 Dream Range trim level, but all Air models down to the entry-level $77,400 Pure offer at least 406 miles of range.
The Dream Range achieves its rating with a 113 kilowatt-hour battery pack, while the Pure’s is smaller than the Model S Long Range’s 100 kilowatt pack, Lucid Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer Eric Bach told Fox News Autos.
The Dream Range also outshines the Model S Long Range’s efficiency with an EPA rating of 125 miles per gallon equivalent to 120 MPGe.
Bach credits the performance to the fact that Lucid designs the Air’s key drivetrain components, including motor, inverter and transmission in house, which makes it easier to optimize how they work together.
Bach’s team focused on minimizing friction in the powertrain, which can often account for 30 percent of the energy being wasted. It also used silicon carbide in its power electronics to reduce heat during the transition from DC to AC as the electricity transfers from the batteries to the motors, which means less energy is needed to run the cooling systems.
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Bach said the motors feature a unique copper winding design and that the cooling channels for them are located very close to the windings in “dead zones” they found in the magnetic fields to make them more effective.
The Air also a very aerodynamic car, with a drag coefficient of .21 and a small frontal area thanks to its low, narrow stance.
To celebrate the achievement, Lucid will build 520 cars this year as it ramps up production and is aiming to sell 20,000 cars in 2022.