Tesla loses EV range crown to Lucid Motors

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Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has lost its crown as the maker of the electric car with the longest range, with startup rival Lucid Group Inc (NASDAQ:LCID) notching up 520 miles on a single charge.


The Lucid Air Dream Edition R, designed by Englishman Peter Rawlinson, who was previously vice president of vehicle engineering at Tesla and chief engineer of the Model S, is the first electric car ever to breach 500 miles, the newcomer said on Thursday.


It said this new record, which is its official EPA range rating, beats rivals by more than 100 miles and would mean the car could take a driver from Los Angeles to San Francisco without stopping to power up.


Currently, the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus has the longest range, with the 2020 model offering an EPA-rated range of 412 miles.


Shares in Lucid Group rose over 5% to US$20.95 after the announcement, while Tesla stock fell 0.7% to US$750.43.


“I’m delighted that our Lucid Air Dream Edition Range has been officially accredited with a range of 520 miles by the EPA, a number I believe to be a new record for any EV.


“Crucially, this landmark has been achieved by Lucid’s world-leading, in-house EV technology, not by simply installing an oversize battery pack,” said Rawlinson, chief executive and chief technology officer.


He said that the 900V battery and company’s custom Battery Management System (BMS) technology, miniaturized drive units, coupled with its Wunderbox onboard charging unit give the Lucid Air higher efficiency and so enabled it to travel more miles from less battery energy.


“The next generation EV has truly arrived,” Rawlinson said. “Improvements in efficiency will enable widespread mass adoption.”


Lucid Group arrived on Wall Street in July after completing a merger with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Churchill Capital Corp IV, getting an initial equity value of US$24bn just prior to listing.


The merger gave the carmaker a fuel injection of US$4.4bn in new cash.


Rawlinson stressed that Lucid develops all its technology in-house, with a “relentless focus” on efficiency around the concept of ‘smart range’ to enable cars to travel very long distances on a single charge with the smallest possible battery packs.


The Lucid Air models’ official EPA ratings put them in the top six spots for overall range ratings among all EVs as well as the highest MPGe ratings in the large vehicle class.

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