Lucid Motors has revealed the beefy battery and new architecture that will make the upcoming Lucid Air the longest-driving EV around, tapping one of the biggest advantages that electrification brings to modern vehicles. The Air, which will be fully unveiled in early September, is expected to be capable of up to 517 miles of EPA range, Lucid has previously estimated.
That would put it comfortably ahead of everything else currently on the market, including Tesla’s most long-legged Model S luxury sedan. That’ll be the Air’s most direct competitor, though Lucid has suggested in the past that it sees sales conquests from more traditional high-end automakers – such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz – as its primary target.
Part of what allows for that 500+ mile figure is aerodynamics, but you also can’t get past the requirement for a big battery. In the Lucid Air’s case, that’s a 113 kWh extended-range pack, which the company designed in-house. That slots into wha the automaker is calling the LEAP, or Lucid Electric Advanced Platform, upon which Air – and likely future models – is based.
It’s a so-called skateboard architecture, where the battery along with the motors and other electronics are sandwiched into a single unit. The battery is slung low in the vehicle, in the wheelbase between the front and rear axles, to help keep the center of gravity low. That also opens up one huge advantage for EVs.
Without mechanical intrusion into the cabin, there’s the potential for a big change in how much space you get per the vehicle footprint, and how that can be used. Lucid, of course, isn’t alone in thinking about this, and we’ve seen numerous concepts reimagining the interiors of electric – and automated electric – vehicles before. Other automakers have also tapped its possibilities for increasing interior space, often delivering the roominess of an internal-combustion vehicle in the larger category above.
Lucid, though, says that it is going even further. The Air will have 739 liters – or over 26 cu-ft – of cargo space, the automaker promises, including “the largest frunk ever offered in a production EV.” That front cargo area under the hood will offer over 280 liters (9.9 cu-ft) of capacity alone. That’s without compromising on cabin space, which Lucid has previously shown being capacious enough for airline-style reclining luxury seats.
Deliveries of the first Lucid Air are expected to begin in early 2021, the automaker promises, though as we’ve seen other electric car startups discover, actually keeping to a planned schedule can end up being trickier than expected. Down the line, meanwhile, there’ll be other iterations on the car, including versions “that achieve competitive range from proportionately smaller battery packs,” Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of the company, says. There’ll be more details about that – and how it might make for cheaper EVs – on September 9, when the Air makes its official debut.