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.

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.

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