Anyone who claims they can make a better EV than the Tesla Model S will be doubted. No one to date has managed to prove right on such claims. Make no mistake to mix these guys with Peter Rawlinson: He is not only the CEO and CTO of Lucid Motors. This Welsh engineer is also the chief engineer of the WhiteStar project, which you now know as Model S. In an interview to Motortrend, he said the Lucid Air would be better than the Model S. And a lot more.
There are reasons for Rawlinson to believe the Lucid Air will be better. One example is that he had to engineer the Model S inside the striking design Franz von Holzhausen had already conceived for it. The Air did not have that restriction.
That made it be a proper sedan instead of a three-box hatchback. According to Rawlinson, that allowed the air to present much better rigidity. We bet it also does not present pressure buffeting.
There is more to it than just the project. According to Rawlinson, the Lucid Air will be a 1,800 hp beast with three motors. The current battery pack allows for 1,100 hp, while the motors in each axle provide a total of 1,000 hp. Both are permanent magnet – or synchronous – units.
The Model S has an induction motor and a permanent magnet motor, as well as the Model 3 and the Model Y. The Lucid Air can use synchronous motors in both axles, just like the Porsche Taycan. According to Rawlinson, that is due to its lower losses. We are curious to see how Lucid Motors will deal with towing.
If that was not enough to have high expectations about this car, the Welsh engineer also mentioned it has a power unit with 16.7 kW-per-liter of power density. Rawlinson claims no one has done that, including Tesla. Lucid has already proven the Air can deliver 400 mi ranges with a single full charge.
The Lucid Air uses a metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) inverter that the engineer claims to be a state-of-the-art unit, and its electric system runs at 900V, which will allow it to charge at very high rates. Anyway, the high voltage may bring safety concerns, especially for first responders. We’d love to see how Lucid has addressed these concerns.
Something else the interview brings up is the resistance the company is facing. At Tesla, he had to deal with “old petrol fanboys.” At Lucid, this is what Rawlinson has to deal with:
“Now I'm having a sense of déjà vu, with history repeating itself: Lucid is being put down by Tesla fans. Those old petrol fanboys are the current Tesla fanboys. Very similar rhetoric.”
We have already spoken about “the club” and about how contradictory were the EV advocates that celebrated a Porsche Taycan fire. It is a pity Lucid Motors and Rawlinson, a man that helped Tesla become what it currently is, also have to see the ugliest side of the EV world.
If you do not condone it, make sure you read the Motortrend interview in full. It is an excellent piece of information.