In a world full of electric vehicle buzz and startup hype, range anxiety remains a key reason why consumers hesitate to make the switch.
For those holdouts, Lucid Motors has just laid a serious hand on the table Tuesday, announcing a battery that can produce 517 miles on a single charge. That’s enough juice to get you, theoretically, from New York to Cleveland, Ohio, or from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back.
The average range for electric cars released in 2019 was around 183 miles, according to BloombergNEF, and is due to rise to around 235 miles for this year’s models. (Electric vehicles account for two per cent of global vehicle sales.) Yet, without handing over a single car to a customer, Lucid has achieved an industry-leading number capable of more than 100 miles above the longest-range Tesla Model S and 300 miles more than Porsche’s best offering, the Taycan.
Lucid Motors’ path has been long and less than straightforward. The company was founded in 2007 under the name Atieva and spent years being more focused on battery technology than pursuing development of a luxury car. It pivoted in 2016, changed its name to Lucid, and began work on what would become the Air.
In September 2018, Lucid raised more than $1 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment fund, an injection of cash that helped clear a path through to production.
Since then it’s been building a factory in Arizona and hiring experienced executives from the world’s leading automakers.
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.