If you happen to own a Lucid Air, you’ll soon be able to charge other EVs with your car’s stored battery power. This is all thanks to the introduction of Lucid’s new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) feature with a catchy name: “RangeXchange.”
After receiving the latest over-the-air update, all existing Lucid vehicles will be able to use the car’s bi-directional onboard charger and the new RangeXchange adapter to charge other vehicles – even those built by other automakers – at speeds of up to 9.6 kW. This means transferring power capable of driving other EVs between 24 and 40 miles in just about an hour.
RangeXchange works almost like a digital jerrycan, except instead of carrying a container of fuel in your trunk, you simply carry a long cable that can transfer electrons between vehicles, agnostic of the brand. Both cars negotiate a charging speed with one another and is then served up juice from the Lucid’s high-voltage battery.
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This is the first use of the bi-directional charging capabilities baked into the all-electric Lucid Air sedan. The magic behind the charging is Lucid’s so-called Wunderbox, which handles all of the electricity that enters – and now leaves – the vehicle.
"Designed and engineered in-house by Lucid, the Wunderbox is far more than just a piece of hardware that charges the battery pack," said Lucid’s Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer, Eric Bach. "From giving other EVs a boost with RangeXchange today, to possible future applications like vehicle-to-home backup power, time-of-use (TOU) optimization, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power, Lucid's proprietary bi-directional charging technology has the potential to greatly improve our customers' lives."
To be clear, while the Wunderbox and the RangeXchange adapter are both hardware, Lucid’s newest feature is made possible by activating the feature with an over-the-air update, though it will require owners to carry around a RangeXchange adapter if they want to share their charge with another vehicle owner. But, hey, in the slim chance that a Lucid owner with a RangeXchange cable and insufficient charge happens to flag down another Lucid with a surplus of charge, at least they’ll have the option to siphon some juice to get to the next DC fast charger and continue about their day.
Realistically, it seems that most EV owners likely won’t make use of this feature with how robust most charging networks are nowadays, though it certainly feels comforting to know that the option exists (even if Lucid only delivered 4,300 cars this year). It does have us wondering what other V2X capabilities the company plans on offering in the future with its cars. Perhaps V2H charging like Ultium-equipped GM vehicles?
Lucid says that the RangeXchange feature will be pushed to cars in an upcoming OTA software release. Likewise, the adapter itself will be offered for sale later this month, though the cost of the adapter currently remains a mystery.