Tesla is getting a new competitor. Barron’s Al Root reports on the new EV offering by Lucid Motors, the Lucid Air. The Air is build to compete with Tesla’s Model S sedan and claims some pretty impressive specifications. Root writes:
The new EV is a luxury sedan like the Tesla (ticker: TSLA) Model S. It’s the Lucid Air from Lucid Motors, a privately held EV maker. The Air made its debut in Silicon Valley Wednesday evening.
“Lucid Motors is driven to make the electric car better, and by doing so, help move the entire industry forward, toward accelerated adoption of sustainable mobility,” said Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson in a news release. “With the Lucid Air, we have created a halo car for the entire industry, one which shows the advancements that are possible by pushing the boundaries of EV technology and performance to new levels.”
A halo car is supposed to be an aspirational model at the higher end of a car maker’s offerings designed to build brand image and establish engineering bona fides. The Air, for its part, boasts up to 1,080 horsepower, fast charging times, and more than 500 miles of range on a single charge.
A high-end Tesla Model S in a performance configuration, by contrast, gets about 350 miles a charge and generates roughly 750 horsepower. Those numbers, however, might not be directly comparable. They are only approximations. The Lucid Air is still, after all, new, and performance characteristics can vary based on options selected.
Vehicle pricing comparisons at this point are only a rough guide as well. The higher-end Model S can run consumers about $95,000, before any purchase incentives. The Lucid Air starts at about $80,000. It’s less than an S, but still firmly in the high-end luxury segment of the marketplace. What’s more, the higher end Air versions—with more bells and whistles—can run consumers $169,000. Lucid is planning to start producing the more-valuable, lower-volume, models in an Arizona factory in 2021 before offering the more-affordable versions in 2022.
The battery packs of the Air and an equivalent Model S are easier to compare. The Air has a 113 kilowatt-hour, or kWh, battery pack. A top end Model S can now be outfitted with a 100 kWh battery pack.
More kilowatt-hours means, essentially, there are more batteries in the vehicle. That means more range, but it also adds cost and weight.
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