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TESTED: 2022 Lucid Air Dream Sets New EV Range Record

TESTED: 2022 Lucid Air Dream Sets New EV Range Record

The Air Dream Range is the first electric vehicle to crack the 500-mile mark in Edmunds' testing

  • The 2022 Lucid Air Dream Range with 19-inch wheels covered 505 miles in Edmunds' real-world EV range test, besting the previous record by a whopping 83 miles.
  • Even with 933 horsepower at its disposal, the Air Dream Range is among the most efficient luxury EVs on the market.
  • Impressive numbers aside, the Air Dream Range was unable to match its EPA-estimated range of 520 miles, and it fell slightly short of its EPA consumption estimate too.

Electric vehicles are a hot topic that's only getting hotter as gas prices hit new highs. But although more people are considering EVs for their next purchase, there's still one concern that ranks at the top:

Range, or how far an EV will go on a single charge.

That's where Lucid Motors comes in. The upstart automaker intends to shatter this concern with its all-new 2022 Air, an electric car with the potential to travel over 500 miles on a single charge in 933-horsepower Dream Range trim. That's farther than most gas-powered cars can go after topping off, let alone EVs, which generally tap out around 300 miles at the most. But all that anxiety-crushing range doesn't come cheap, as our Air Dream Range test car would set you back a cool $170,500, before factoring in any federal and state tax incentives, of course.

Notably, only one Lucid Air Dream specification is capable of doing the 500-mile mambo — the Range variant with 19-inch wheels, which is the one we tested. It carries an EPA range estimate of 520 miles. But if you opt for 21-inch wheels, that number drops to 481 miles, while the equally priced 1,111-hp Dream Performance model is rated at 471 miles with 19-inch wheels and 451 miles with 21s.

We were eager to see if our test car's 520-mile EPA estimate would hold up in the real world. Going in, the reigning champ on our EV range leaderboard was the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ at an overachieving 422 miles. The Lucid was a fair bet to unseat the Benz, but by how much — and how efficient would it be, especially with all that horsepower? Here are the results from Edmunds' real-world range loop.

Testing the Lucid Air Dream Range in the real world

Edmunds tests every new electric vehicle on the same real-world driving loop in Southern California to see just how far it can travel from a full charge down to zero miles remaining. The Lucid Air Dream Range model we tested comes loaded to the gills, with just a few no-cost options to select from. One of those options is 21-inch wheels with summer tires, which will provide better road grip for accelerating, cornering and braking but will also cost you 39 miles of potential range by EPA estimates, as noted above.

Our test car came equipped with 19-inch wheels and all-season tires (Pirelli P Zero Elect PNCS 245/45 R19) at all four corners, inflated to a rock-hard, factory-recommended pressure of 49 psi. The Air weighed in at 5,232 pounds, which makes it nearly 400 pounds heavier than the Tesla Model S Plaid but more than 250 pounds lighter than the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+. For reference, the Plaid's tire pressure specs were 40 psi front and rear, and the EQS' 41 psi front and 48 psi rear.

2022 Lucid Air Dream Range

2022 Lucid Air Dream Range

Over the course of a lengthy day of driving at a near ideal average temperature of 67 degrees, we managed to travel a total of 505 miles, 15 fewer than the EPA estimate. Coming up short is something we're used to seeing with companies like Tesla and now Lucid that implement all five cycles of the EPA's test rather than the more common two-cycle approach. Short or not, anything with a range of over 500 miles is incredible, and Lucid has moved the bar 83 miles higher, relegating the EQS 450+ to a distant second place.

How efficient is the Lucid Air Dream Range?

While the Lucid's range is the headline news, energy consumption is an important factor as well. Energy consumption is what determines how much your miles will cost you. The unit of measurement for consumption, the kilowatt-hour, can be thought of as the EV equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. Just like gas, the price of electricity varies depending on where you live. For example, you'll pay about 9 cents per kWh in Nebraska as of this writing, whereas in Hawaii it'll run you about 37 cents.

Lucid takes efficiency seriously and has gone to great lengths in creating what it says is the world's most aero-efficient luxury car, with the highest electric voltage architecture (900-plus volts) of any production EV on the road.

Those efforts look to have paid off. For a car this heavy with an absurd 933 horsepower on tap, the efficiency is incredible. By the EPA's numbers, the Dream Range model consumes 27 kWh every 100 miles. After charging the Lucid back to full via our Level 2 (240-volt) charger, we calculated an efficiency of 28.3 kWh/100 miles, which is slightly less efficient than the EPA figure. Still, compared to its closest competitor, the Tesla Model S Plaid, which we also found to be remarkably efficient, the Lucid is about 12% more efficient in our real-world charging experience.

So how much does it cost to charge up the Air Dream Range?

Using the Edmunds observed consumption rate of 28.3 kWh/100 miles, if we lived in Hawaii, our 505-mile trip in the Air Dream Range would have cost us $52.88, while if we lived in Nebraska, that same trip would ring up at just $12.86. If we compare the Lucid to its most efficient competition, the Model S Plaid (32.1 kWh/100 miles), the same 505 miles would have cost $59.98 in Hawaii and $14.59 in Nebraska. Considering the price of admission for either of these supersedans, the difference in cost for charging is pretty negligible, even in the most expensive state.

2022 Lucid Air Dream Range

2022 Lucid Air Dream Range

What about a gasoline-powered equivalent to the Lucid? Well, it's pretty difficult to find an exact equivalent for a 933-hp sedan, but someone shopping an Air Dream Range might also consider the 2022 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe. This BMW starts at an MSRP of $130,000 but can balloon up to the $160K range depending on options. Its engine is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that develops 617 horsepower and is estimated to get 17 mpg in combined driving with all-wheel drive. Driving it for 505 miles on premium fuel would have set us back $169.32 in Hawaii ($5.70 per gallon) and $127.74 in Nebraska ($4.30 per gallon) at current prices, assuming we got the Bimmer's combined mpg.

Based on these numbers, you could save an estimated $2,165 per year in Hawaii and $2,241 per year in Nebraska by driving a Lucid for 10,000 miles instead of an M8 Gran Coupe. While there's no EV substitute yet for the sound of a rip-snorting V8, the Lucid's combination of speed and efficiency should prove hard to resist.

For more information on how we test EV range and how each vehicle performed, we invite you to visit our Real World vs. EPA testing page, which includes both our EV range leaderboard and a table with detailed test results. Our EV range leaderboard is embeddable and will automatically update every time we add a new vehicle.

Edmunds says

The 2022 Lucid Air Dream Range is our new range leader even though it slightly underperformed relative to its EPA range and consumption estimates. While we don't think 500-plus miles of range is really necessary for most people, it's truly an impressive accomplishment for any EV, especially a first effort from an all-new auto company. Pair this with the incredible straight-line speed the Lucid is capable of and you can see why there is so much excitement around this car. But it's not all roses, as we found the Air to have some fairly significant glitches and some interior pieces of questionable build quality. You can see how the Lucid stacks up against its competition, as well as read our comprehensive ratings for all electric vehicles, at Edmunds' EV rankings page.