Today US-based Lucid Motors, officially unveiled the production version of their upcoming electric vehicle, the Lucid Air. The car itself is a sleek, modern EV that offers some amazing range and performance numbers that are probably the closest we’ve seen to Tesla’s Model S so far.
The Lucid Air features a seriously impressive performance (60 mph in 2.5 seconds and a 1/4 mile time of just 9.9s), but also a decent set of features. There’s a glass roof to provide a feeling of space, promises of OTA updates, and a smartphone app to control your car.
The Air will come in 4 editions, starting with the most expensive first, hopefully driving down the cost for subsequent variants. The top model, the ‘Dream edition’, will include a 21-speaker sound system and ‘Lucid Dream Drive’ which is their branding for their autonomous suite.
When the Lucid Air begins production, DreamDrive’s Level 2 functionality will include 19 safety, driving, and parking assist features, with a further eight advanced features expected soon afterwards, delivered via over-the-air updates.
Key features at launch include:
- Surround View Monitoring
- Blind Spot Display
- Cross Traffic Protection
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Alerts for distracted or drowsy drivers
- Full Speed Highway Assist (Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering)
- Traffic Drive-Off Alert
- Headlight Assist
- Autonomous Parking Assist
- Pullout Control
- Maneuver Comfort Braking
DreamDrive’s array of 32 multimodal sensors includes the latest camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors. as well as a long-distance, high-resolution LIDAR that uses laser beams to measure the distance from every object in the car’s path.
This is a dramatic departure from Tesla’s computer-vision (and non-lidar) approach to autonomy. Another key difference is that Lucid will use a driver monitoring system that could see driver’s taking their hands off the wheel, inc certain situations.
While Tesla’s today are floating at somewhere between level 2 and 3, their objective is clearly to get to level 5.
As the other aspects of Lucid’s announcements today, it’s important to talk about the fact that they too have ambitions in the energy storage space. Given these company’s a learning so much about energy storage in cars, its not surprising to see them leverage that knowledge to make other products.
Lucid announced they will make home energy battery storage, as well as grid-level storage, sound familiar? Lucid showed off these batteries (as well as a little of their software interface) in a launch video today.
It even looks like the Lucid Air will feature a track mode.
Something very unique to Lucid Air, is the ability to charge one Lucid Air, from another. They will also feature vehicle to grid charging infrastructure, allowing you to backup your house, with your car’s battery.
What’s happening here with Lucid Motors is incredibly exciting for the industry. This certainly feels like the biggest competition right now to Tesla. Obviously producing their first car at scale is a massive undertaking and something Tesla has already been through.
The Lucid Air is comparable with the Model S (although Modle S did come out more than 5 years ago), however Lucid claims better efficiency from their 110kWh+ battery, to achieve more range – potentially 500miles+ (EPA Estimated) or more than 800kms. That now places increased pressure on the announcements made at Tesla’s battery day.
Overall it’s great to see more competition coming into the market (later 2021), and starting with a benchmark of what Tesla offers today, is a great starting point. I really hope Lucid Motors do well and expand globally, particularly to Australia.
While these are certainly more premium sedans at steep prices, the objective is the same, drive down costs and make products more affordable through scale over the coming years.
Game on legacy auto, it’s time to spend up, get the right talent and the right ideas to catch up to the competition.
No word yet on local pricing and if they’re interested in making a RHD model, finger’s crossed. Like the Xpeng P7, we need competition like this, to help push the EV market forward, getting more people interested and buying. This competition will also ensure Tesla stays progressive in their offerings.
More information at lucidmotors.com/air/