It's unclear at what point electric vehicle (EV) critics will stop talking about range anxiety, but perhaps the first EV with a range of more than 500 miles will at least get them to temper their negativity. If so, the vehicle that will be responsible for their silence is the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range, which has officially received a preliminary Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) driving range rating of 520 miles. That figure sets a new record for a production EV with the most extended range ever to be tested by the EPA.
Lucid Group today announced that range estimate for the 933-horsepower Dream trim level when riding on 19-inch wheels, along with the EPA numbers for the other versions of the all-electric Air sedan. The good news is that no matter what model you choose (of those tested so far), you'll be getting at least 451 miles of official range. That's the minimum, and it'll be what you get with the 1,111-hp Dream Performance edition equipped with 21-inch wheels (471 miles with 19-inch wheels). In between, there's the 800-hp Grand Touring version, which gets 516 miles on 19-inch wheels and 469 miles on 21-inch wheels. Finally, the Dream with 21-inch wheels gets 481 miles.
Recent real-world tests by Motor Trend support the Air's big numbers, so they're not just an artifact of the EPA's testing. Lucid said the record-setting specifications were not just the result of the Air's massive 113-kWh battery pack, either, although having that much energy stored on board certainly helps.
"Crucially, this landmark has been achieved by Lucid's world-leading in-house EV technology, not by simply installing an oversize battery pack," said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid Group CEO and CTO, in a statement. "Our race-proven 900V battery and BMS technology, our miniaturized drive units, coupled with our Wunderbox technology endow Lucid Air with ultra-high efficiency, enabling it to travel more miles from less battery energy."
While Lucid's range achievement is impressive, the California-based automaker is not the company that can eke out the most miles per kWh. That honor belongs to Tesla and its 2021 Model 3 Long Range, which the EPA rates at 353 miles of total range, but it needs just 25 kWh to go 100 miles. The Lucid Air Grand Touring with the 19-inch wheels needs 26 kWh per 100 miles. When it comes to electric vehicles, these minor differences are what it takes to generate big ratings.