Lucid Air

Lucid Motors was founded as Atieva in 2007 by Bernard Tse—a former Tesla vice-president and board member. The company is based in Newark, Calif., about 12 miles from Tesla’s Fremont factory.

A number of former Tesla employees play key roles at Lucid. Its chief technology officer, Peter Rawlinson, was the chief engineer for the Model S.

The Lucid Air was first unveiled in 2016, at which time the company said production would start two years later. The launch of production is now set for early 2020. The first year’s output from the company’s Arizona-based factory is expected to be 10,000 units.

Style

The Lucid Air is a full-size luxury all-electric vehicle. It would stack up against the BMW 7-Series or Audi A7—but with a sleeker front end, beefier mid-section, and a short tail. Compared to the Tesla Model S, its logical competitor, the Air is shorter, narrower, and lower. From some angles, the Air looks similar to the Model S. Both cars employ flush door handles.

In concept form, the Air maintains a muscular stance with a high hip line and an expansive glass roof. That’s counterbalanced by a long and lean hood that, in turn, is punctuated by a thin bar of lights across the front fascia. The Air rides on 21-inch wheels.

Performance

Lucid describes the Air as a powerful yet maneuverable sports car. There will be options for a single-motor, 400-horsepower version—as well as an insane, dual-motor, all-wheel-drive variant making 1,000 horsepower. The top speed could exceed 200 miles per hour.

CTO Rawlinson said that Lucid engineers used the Mercedes S-Class as a benchmark for the Air. “It’s a really fast real sports car, a fantastic machine to drive,” he said. “It’s more maneuverable and more usable.” Rawlinson emphasized the agility of the Air.

Lucid Air

Efficiency/Range

The first version of the Air to hit the market will provide 400 miles of driving range from a 130 kilowatt-hour battery pack. A follow-up, more affordable option will provide 240 miles on a single charge.

Charging

Lucid air is using battery technology provided by two industry stalwarts—LG Chem and Samsung SDI. The chemistry and design are geared not only to range but to withstand ultra-fast DC fast charging.

In September 2018, Lucid announced that it would partner with Electrify America, the Volkswagen subsidiary, to provide owners access to a nationwide network of fast highway chargers. Those Electrify America stations can provide juice up to 350 kW, thereby adding 20 miles of range for each minute of charging.

The Electrify America network is expected to include nearly 500 sites across the United States by the time of the Lucid Air's launch.

Passenger and Cargo Room

Lucid says the Air’s interior was inspired by an executive jet. A set of optional rear seats recline to 55 degrees while offering open-out picnic tables. It promises more interior space than a long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The interior has the feel of some fully autonomous concept vehicles that resemble a luxury living room on wheels. In fact, the Air is equipped with the sensors, cameras, and lidar needed for autonomous operation. That technology could be deployed when self-driving vehicles become legal on US roads.

Lucid Air

Price

The Lucid Air’s pricing has not yet been finalized. The 400-mile, dual-motor, 1,000-horsepower version could be priced well above $100,000.

The version of the Air with a 240-mile battery pack is being promised for around $60,000 before incentives.

Lucid Air specifications

Availability: 2020
Base MSRP: TBD
Est. tax credit: $7500
Technology: Electric Vehicle
Body type: Sedan
Seats: 5
EPA Range: 400 miles pure electric
Battery size: 130 kWh
Charging rate:

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