Once again, we’re witnessing the birth of a new automobile manufacturer that will seek to establish a presence in the luxury electric-vehicle market and rival Tesla Motors.
This new automaker is called Lucid Motors, it too based in California. It recently unveiled a new fully electric sedan, simply called the Air. It’s equipped with an electric powertrain that was fully developed by Lucid itself, who promises “world-class performance in acceleration, driving range, and efficiency.”
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Actually, the company isn’t new, as it used to call itself Atieva up until recently. Established in 2007, Atieva drew some attention earlier this year with Edna, a Mercedes-Benz Metris cargo van stuffed with electric motors producing 900 horsepower and an 87-kWh battery pack. A video was published in which we can see Edna schooling a Tesla Model S and a Ferrari California T in acceleration runs.
Let’s get back to the Lucid Motors Air. Little information has been disclosed regarding its powertrain, other than it being smaller, more efficient and more power-dense than competitors, while potentially more reliable. Those are Lucid’s words, not ours. The company states an output of 1000 horsepower, a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time of 2.5 seconds and a driving range of up to 640 kilometres. The battery pack’s chemistry is said to be impervious to repeated quick-charging.
The Air sedan is said to be of midsize format, but offers the interior space of a full-size sedan. Two rear-seat layouts should be offered, one having two individual seats that can recline up to 55 degrees to create the experience of aircraft business class. Up front, the dashboard is clean, equipped solely with touchscreens and a minimum of physical buttons. The car’s sound system should include 29 speakers and active noise-cancelling technology.
Obviously, Lucid Motors is also promising a slew of electronic safety driving aids as well as autonomous driving. These technologies would be offered as standard, and improved over time through software updates performed over the Internet. If all this sounds familiar, it’s because Tesla is doing the exact same thing.
Production of the Lucid Motors Air should begin at the end of 2018 in a factory in Arizona, while deliveries will start early in 2019. The Air sedan should be offered at a price of more than USD$100,000, but the company promises to eventually produce a more affordable model, which would be priced at about USD$65,000.