Lucid Air Tops Out with 520-mile range; Rivian Bests 300 with Pickup & SUV
Story by Michael Coates; photos from the manufacturers
The numbers tell the story—we’ve entered a new stage of long-range electric vehicles. This week the Lucid Air Dream edition had a model officially accredited by the U.S. EPA with a 520-mile range. That’s in a dual motor all-wheel drive sedan that promises 933 horsepower and will be beginning production later this year.
Earlier in the month the Rivian R1T pickup’s Launch Edition was rated by the EPA at 314 miles of range, while its sister SUV, the R1S clocked in a 316 miles. Production of customer models began this past week and deliveries are expected imminently. The Rivian, too, packs a punch with more than 400 horsepower from its four motors.
Lucid Hits a High Mark
While the average range of an EV has been moving higher during the past few years, Lucid’s announcement has set a new high bar. Significantly, the start-up did without simply relying on a larger battery pack. At 113 kilowatt-hours (kWh), the Lucid Dream Edition’s battery is large (Tesla’s biggest is 100 kWh), but that’s not the most important feature. EPA also published the Lucid motors’ efficiency, which was calculated to be 27 kWh/100 miles, besting Tesla’s Model S. One of Lucid’s upcoming models, the Air Grand Touring, was even more efficient at 26 kWh/100 miles, almost as good as the smaller Tesla Model 3.
Your wheels may dictate your range
Due to different motor ratings and different size tires, Lucid’s Air models have a variety of range estimates. Here is the lineup as found on EPA’s website:
Lucid Air Dream Edition Range – 19-inch wheels – 933 hp – 520 miles
Lucid Air Dream Edition Range – 21-inch wheels – 933 hp – 481 miles
Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance – 19-inch wheels – 1,111 hp – 471 miles
Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance – 21-inch wheels – 1,111 hp – 451 miles
Lucid Air Grand Touring – 19-inch wheels – 800 hp – 516 miles
Lucid Air Grand Touring – 21-inch wheels – 800 hp – 469 miles
The ratings underscore the variables of an electric car. The impact of the larger wheel size, which affects aerodynamics, rolling resistance and adds weight, is substantially more than would be seen on a less efficient internal combustion engine vehicle. This should also serve as an important reminder that whatever size tire you have, keeping the inflation at the manufacturer’s suggested rating is also critical to maximizing fuel economy.
On its road to its record range, Lucid developed a 900-volt battery system with a proprietary battery management system and miniaturized drive units. Lucid also ran a real-world test of pre-production cars with Motor Trend magazine driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco that demonstrated the 500+ mile range of the car.
The Dream Edition, which Lucid says is sold out (although it does have a waitlist as if anticipating that some reservation holders may bail) retails for $169.000. As noted, it tops out at 1,111 horsepower and 520 miles of range, though those two features aren’t offered together. First deliveries to customers are expected next year.
The Grand Touring model will be up next. At $139,000, it will top out at 516 miles or range and 800 horsepower. The Touring model will retail for $95,000, offering 406 miles of range and 620 horsepower. Finally, the Pure model will cost $77,400 with 406 mile of range and 480 horsepower. The non-Dream Editions are listed as “Future Models.”
Rivian Tops 300-mile Range
While much of Rivian’s recent news was about closing a $2.5 billion financing round and also filing for to go public with a traditional IPO (as opposed to the SPAC merger path used by several other EV startups), it’s also finalized the range of its launch vehicles.
Built for electric adventure
The EPA tested the Rivian R1T pickup and certified it at 314 miles of range with a 48 kWh/100 mile efficiency for its four motors. The R1S SUV was certified at 316 miles or range and 49 kWh/100. Both models feature a pair of 162 kilowatt AC three-phase motors on one axle and a pair of 163 kilowatt motors on the other in what is described as a part-time four-wheel drive system.
Rivian also announced that the company has received approval from the federal government to begin construction of vehicles for consumer delivery and celebrated the first consumer vehicle coming off of the Normal, Illinois, assembly line. That action took place several months later than the company’s original timeline, but will still mean the R1T will be the first all-electric pickup on the market.
The R1T is aimed at “adventure” truck market. Its materials and PR activities trade of the vehicle’s off-road capabilities and adaptability for camping, for instance, offering an optional cooking stove that stores in the Gear Tunnel. Rivian claims its battery system is designed to function from 130°F to -25°F. The truck’s independent air suspension can deliver 14 inches of ground clearance. The company also claims it can ford through three feet of water and will go from 0-60 mph in about three seconds. The R1T can tow up to 11.000 pounds, but of course towing that kind of load will drastically reduce range.
The Rivian R1T’s Launch Edition starts at $73,000. As with Lucid, the range estimate is with 20-inch wheels. If you bump up to the optional 22-inch wheels, the range drops 5-10 percent.
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More News on Lucid & Rivian:
Feature: Lucid Motors Studios
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LA Auto Show: Rivian Electric Pickup/SUV Revealed