Lucid Air’s 520-mile range beats Tesla, according to EPA results

That's a lot of driving on a single charge.

Journalists look over the new "air" electric car by Lucid Motors Inc. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, i...
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Lucid’s first electric sedan, the Air Dream Edition Range, can drive a whopping 520 miles on a full charge. That’s according to an official test by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meaning the upstart electric car company has unseated Tesla as the producer of the electric vehicle with the longest range. Tesla’s best performer, the Model S Long Range, has an EPA rating of 412 miles. SFGate earlier reported on Lucid’s feat.

Range anxiety — Granted, the major caveat here is that the top-of-the-line Air Dream has a base price of $169,000 as compared to $89,000 for the Model S Long Range. But range is important because charging infrastructure still isn’t as developed as it should be. The simple calculus is that the longer the range, the less range anxiety people will have. Not accounting for variables like weather, which could affect your battery usage, 520 miles of range will get you from Washington, DC to New York and back again.

Tesla’s feats are still impressive. The Model 3 sedan has an EPA range of 263 miles on a charge and comes in at a base price of $39,990 before incentives. Lucid comparatively is targeting the luxury end of the EV market; its cheapest planned car, the Pure, will cost $77,400 before incentives. If the world is going to successfully transition away from fossil fuels, more affordable electric cars like the Model 3 and Nissan’s Leaf — starting price $27,400 — are the real game-changer.

Charging — Another issue pertaining to electric cars is charging them for people who live in cities and don’t have access to an in-home charger. A recent study found that only 9.7 percent of households in U.S. cities have access to a public charging station within a 5 minute walk from their homes. Wealthy early adopters of electric cars didn’t have to worry because they often had single-family homes. Certainly people who bought the Air Dream Edition probably fit within this category.

The Biden administration has also been pushing to fund more charging infrastructure, but longer ranges will also be crucial.

Lucid expects to begin deliveries of the Air Dream Edition by the end of the 2021.