Skip to main content

Lucid Air electric car completes 400-mile loop between San Francisco and L.A.

Lucid Motors has said its upcoming Air electric car will have 400 miles of range, something even Tesla has not been able to achieve. The company claims to have hit that target in real-world conditions.

Lucid just released a video showing a prototype Air driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back — covering 400 miles in each direction. The car drove each leg without charging, only plugging in during an overnight stop in L.A., according to Lucid. The trip took place in February, before California was put under a statewide shelter-in-place order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s worth noting that the car used was a prototype; you can see its incomplete interior in the video. Lucid also didn’t provide much information on driving conditions, other than that the trip mostly involved highway driving. Traffic conditions, speed, and driving style (did the driver have a lead foot?) can all impact real-world range.

Lucid Air | SF to LA Range Test | February 2020

If other drivers can replicate Lucid’s results, this will be a major achievement. No electric car in production has reached 400 miles of range, and a result like this is much more meaningful than a window-sticker rating. Range ratings are an important tool for comparing cars, but they don’t always hold up in real-world driving.

The Lucid Air was unveiled in 2016, but funding issues stalled development. In 2018, Lucid got financial defibrillation in the form of a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The company has spent the last year finishing the development of the Air and constructing a factory in Arizona to build the car.

The Air has ambitious specs beyond its 400-mile range. Lucid previously said the car will have 1,000 horsepower, making it more powerful than most supercars. A prototype hit 235 mph on an Ohio test track in 2017. This version of the Air is expected to be priced in the six-figure range, but Lucid also previously discussed an entry-level model with 240 miles of range and a $60,000 base price.

Lucid originally planned to unveil the finished Air at the 2020 New York Auto Show, but the show was moved back from April to August due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company is making alternate plans for the reveal.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Lucid Motors CEO gives us the details on the 400-mile Air electric car
Lucid Air electric car

The Lucid Air almost seems too good to be true. It’s a luxury electric car that boasts 1,000 horsepower but also, Lucid claims, a real-world range of 400 miles.

The Air was unveiled in late 2016, along with ambitious plans for production at a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. Then Lucid’s funding dried up, halting development work in 2017. A $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund got things rolling again, and Lucid hopes to build the first pre-production cars before the end of the year.

Read more
Tesla’s new million-mile battery could finally make electric cars affordable

Tesla plans to debut low-cost electric car batteries that can last up to a million miles and could make electric Tesla models the same price or even less than a car run by gasoline. 

These low-cost batteries would first appear in Tesla’s Model 3 in China later this year or early 2021. Other markets, like North America, would follow after, according to an exclusive report from Reuters. 

Read more
Honda will use General Motors technology to build two electric cars
GM Ultium EV platform

Honda and General Motors are setting aside their differences to engineer electric vehicles together. Their announcement adds a bullet point to the growing list of alliances formed to offset the sky-high costs of developing battery technology.

The Japanese company will build two electric models on the Ultium platform its American partner introduced in March 2020. There's no word yet on what they'll look like, or what segment of the market they'll compete in. Anything is possible because the architecture -- the chassis, the battery pack, and the motor -- is being designed to be as modular as can be. It's not too far-fetched to assume at least one of the two EVs will be an SUV -- the segment is hugely popular right now, and it's going to get incredibly crowded in the early 2020s.

Read more