Lucid Air beta vehicle takes a 400-mile road trip

There are some flamboyant EV startups out there these days, and frankly, we tend to look at them with a skeptical eye. California-based Lucid Motors gets more respect around here than most, for a couple of reasons: the company has been around since 2007 (it was founded as Atieva, and originally focused on building battery packs); and it has built a couple of promising prototype vehicles, and made them available to the press.

In February, the company’s powertrain engineering team took a beta prototype of the Lucid Air luxury sedan on a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back, demonstrating a real-world range of over 400 miles.  

In a video of the trip, Lucid regales us with some spectacular California scenery. The team started at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, drove south along coastal Highway 1, passing through Big Sur and San Luis Obispo (where they stopped to refuel the fossil-powered chase truck), and ended up at the Santa Monica pier—all on a single charge.

The next day, after charging overnight, the Lucidators drove through Beverly Hills, where the company hopes to open a Lucid Studio this summer, then headed north on Interstate 5, over the Tejon Pass and down into the Central Valley. Towards the end of the trip, CEO Peter Rawlinson (who we interviewed for a feature article in our March/April 2018 issue) joined the caravan in a second Air beta prototype for a triumphant return to San Francisco.

Lucid says it engineered the Air around the concept of “smart range,” meaning it achieves its 400-mile range by means of extraordinary efficiency, not just an enormous battery pack. The Air boasts a host of luxury fittings, as well as the sort of up-to-date features that Tesla has made de rigueur, including a large touchscreen, autonomous driving capabilities and over-the-air updates. Lucid has not yet specified a price or an expected launch date.

Source: Lucid Motors