Luxury electric car startup Lucid Motors started production at its Casa Grande, Arizona factory this week and is coming out of the box with a tough effort beating rival Tesla in a key area.
Its launcher, the Lucid Air sedan, offers a maximum range of 850 miles per charge, far exceeding the 405 mile performance of the Tesla Model S Long Range.
Lucid’s peak is $ 169,990 for the 933-horsepower Dream Range spec, but all Air models up to the entry-level Pure of $ 77,400 offer at least 406 miles of range.
The Dream Range gets its rating on a 113-kilowatt-hour battery, while the Pure 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 outperforms the Model S Long Range with an EPA rating of 125 miles per gallon, which is equivalent to 120 MPGe.
Bach credits the achievement to the fact that Lucid develops the Air’s key drive components, including the motor, inverter, and gearbox, in-house, making it easier to optimize their interaction.
Bach’s team focused on minimizing drive train friction, which can often account for 30 percent of wasted energy. It also uses silicon carbide in its power electronics to reduce heat when transitioning from DC to AC while power is transferred from the batteries to the motors, meaning less energy is needed to run the cooling systems.
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Bach said the motors have a unique copper winding design and that the cooling channels for them are very close to the windings in “dead zones” that they found in the magnetic fields to make them more effective.
The Air is also a very aerodynamic car with a drag coefficient of 0.21 and a small frontal area thanks to its low, narrow stance.
To celebrate success, Lucid will build 520 cars this year, ramp up production and sell 20,000 cars in 2022.