Lucid join EV game with 1000hp sedan
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Covers come off Lucid Air electric vehicle concept
California based company Lucid Motors, previously known as battery and technology company Atieva, has released their first all-electric vehicle – the Lucid Air.
Engineering of their first electric vehicle began back in 2014, culminating in the Air’s first appearance this week in the form of a luxury four seat sedan.
It’s only a concept at this stage, but Lucid has already confirmed production models will produce up to 1,000 horsepower, accelerate from 0 – 100 kph in 2.5 seconds and have a range of up to 640 km.
Even though some key elements of Lucid’s new concept are still under wraps, the Air showcased today is dripping with new technology.
The production model will be delivered autonomous-ready, allowing driver and passengers to enjoy copious amounts of leg room front and rear, and executive seating that offers up to 55 degrees of recline.
It features a completely new drivetrain system that has been developed in-house, it is said to be smaller, more efficient and more power-dense than anything currently available.
Lucid have also developed an ultra-slim lighting system, utilizing thousands of micro-lenses, improving energy efficiency by 50 per cent compared to conventional LED headlights.
Suspension components include air springs with active regenerative valve technology. Ride quality will be helped further by the cars low center of gravity, positioning battery cells underneath the body of the car.
A 29 speaker audio system with active noise canceling will ensure occupants receive a fully ‘tuned acoustic experience’.
Despite this, the most important piece of news to come out of the Lucid Air announcement, industry speaking, involves the batteries - and it’s not the 1000hp performance figure.
The new car-maker announced a strategic partnership with Samsung just two weeks ago, with the tech giant becoming a major supplier of the lithium-ion cells powering Lucid’s first vehicle.
The two companies have collaborated in the development of new cylindrical battery cells that are able to exceed current performance benchmarks in energy density, power, calendar life and safety.
Cylindrical cells are being hailed as a ‘breakthrough’ by Lucid, due to their ‘tolerances to repeated fast charging’.
The company hasn't mentioned a recharge time, but if it came close to a traditional gas station experience, full EV ownership could become a lot more comfortable to a larger portion of the car market. Such advancement would represent a significant development in EV technology, and overcome one of the biggest hurdles in mass EV adoption - what happens when you don't have the 40 minutes to charge a car?
Lucid plan on hiring factory staff within the first half of 2017 with production of the Air beginning in late 2018 – deliveries beginning soon after.
A well optioned Air will be priced at over US $100,000 (NZ$140,000). Placing it slap bang in the middle of executive sedan territory, with a release date of at least late 2018, the entire sedan and EV market will be very different to what it is currently.
The biggest challenge for Lucid and their Air concept now – getting to the showroom floor.