The EV Disruptor
Wheels Australia Magazine|December 2020
A cashed-up start-up deigns to take on taycan and tesla with ‘the world’s most efficient ev’. Meet the lucid air – and the tech giving it an 800km range and 783kw of electric grunt
Ben Miller

The Lucid Air does not look like a performance car. It’s a clean-sheet luxury EV with the cabin space of an S-Class, two enormous luggage compartments and an interior that fuses minimalist tech and uncluttered cool in that chic, intuitive way California has made its own.

But the Lucid Air is a performance car. The numbers for the recently unveiled Dream Edition Air, the compmay’s first car, are thus: a range of more than 800km (730km at motorway speeds, Lucid says) from a 113kWh battery, 783kW, 0-97km/h in 2.5sec and efficiency of 6.4km/kWh (the Porsche Taycan Turbo S is around 4.2km/kWh).

Electric car makers claiming ludicrous numbers are not uncommon. But there’s reason to believe in Lucid. Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, worked at Lotus and Jaguar before moving to Tesla to engineer the breakthrough Model S. At Lucid he’s secured the funding to build a factory from scratch, in Arizona (HQ is in Silicon Valley, naturally), and to ready the car for production – the first will be built next year.

But how did Lucid create a car with such wild numbers?

A COOLER PERFORMANCE EV IS KEY

A giant battery is dumb range. The Air’s battery pack is big, but not big enough to account for its range advantage alone. The Lucid’s range – and its power – are the result of an engineering program that’s prioritised efficiency above all, and developed everything inhouse. An example? The high-voltage architecture, a result of Lucid’s learnings from its Formula E battery project. The Taycan uses an 800volt system. The Air’s is 924V.

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