The Tesla Model S is no longer the highest estimated range EV on the market, and the Lucid Air is. After the latter company revealed that the Air, its first model, has an EPA-estimated range of 517 miles, it opened doors for Lucid to become a real player in the transition to sustainable passenger transportation.
However, Tesla still has a few significant advantages in the field despite the Model S losing the title of “best range on an EV,” because the company has a few things that Lucid does not.
Here are a few things to remember.
The Model S still has over 400 miles of range
Despite not having 517 miles of EV range, the Model S still has an impressive 402-mile rating per charge based on EPA estimates. The Long Range Plus variant has done wonders for EV competition and has solidified Tesla’s position as the leader in electric car development. It is important to note that Tesla’s flagship sedan still is the only currently available vehicle with at least 400 miles of range, making it a prize all on its own for anyone who wants to forget about range anxiety altogether completely.
Battery Day is only a little over a month away
Tesla’s Battery Day is September 22, so there are plenty of things to speculate about for the event. Tesla may unveil its million-mile capable battery pack at the event. But even further, the company has been working on several other developments that are geared toward using more responsible battery materials and getting rid of the controversial cobalt that is used in cells now. Regardless of what is revealed on September 22, it will likely be a response to what Lucid showed the world today. Elon is a master of responding to Tesla’s competitors.
Consumers don’t “need” 500+ miles of range
500+ miles of range is unheard of in the EV community, but it does not mean that consumers are going to flock to a vehicle that offers that capability. With higher range usually comes higher kWh battery packs, which frequently means more money. The details of the battery pack are not known and will likely be revealed at the company’s unveiling event on September 9. Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson did state that the Air will have a 900-volt architecture.
However, consumers do not need 500 miles of range. Very few people require that amount of range for a typical commute to work and even cross country drives, which are rare, to begin with, don’t need this much range. The EV charging infrastructure has grown exponentially in the past few years, and charging stations are standard along popular routes of travel. If anything, the range is a luxury that will ease the minds of some owners.
Sam Abuelsamid, a principal analyst for Guidehouse Insights, stated that customers tend to buy cars that have functions that are not needed.
“Car buyers are not rational and never have been. Thus automakers are scrambling to build 300+ mile EVs because consumers say they want to go anywhere, anytime. How many people do you know that have ever actually driven across the country?” he said, according to Green Car Reports.
Tesla still has the lead in terms of EV development as a whole
Two sedans, one SUV, one crossover, a pickup, a Supercar, and a Semi: Those are all of the things Tesla is selling or is developing. The company has a lot to offer consumers because it has equipped itself with vehicles that fit every body style and description. Now, the company is building two new Gigafactories, one in Germany and one in Texas to keep up with increasing demand. Meanwhile, Lucid is still a new player on the block, and it has a long way to go in vehicle development, especially if it expects to keep up with Tesla’s momentum in the sector.
Lucid’s 517-mile capable Air will undoubtedly drive competition in the electric vehicle market to levels that it has not seen before. When electric vehicles were first being introduced, range ratings of 100 miles or less were somewhat standard. Tesla’s focus on range and performance through high-grade battery development changed the EV sector altogether and set a standard for the industry as a whole. Now, companies are stepping up their game to match and surpass other automakers, which is what is going on with Lucid.
However, Tesla will likely have a rebuttal for this range rating, and it could come as soon as September 22. There is not much for Elon Musk’s company to worry about right now; it still holds an advantage over anyone and everyone who makes electric cars.