It was the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range's turn to undergo the InsideEVs 70-mph highway range test, and boy did it deliver. We knew going into the range test that the Air would likely crush the 310-mile range test results we achieved on a 2021 Tesla Model 3 in our 70-mph range test, which was our range test leader until now. The only question that remained was by how much.
We've been trying to schedule this test for the past 2 months but had to cancel once due to bad weather, and another time because I came down with COVID, but Lucid has been very accommodating and told us the vehicle would be ready when we were, and they delivered as promised last week in Arizona.
Lucid provided us with a production Lucid Air Dream Edition Range with the 19" Aero wheels which is the configuration that is EPA certified at 520 miles per charge. If you put the 21" wheels on this same vehicle, the EPA range rating drops to 481 miles, which is still more than any other electric vehicle - and by a wide margin.
As always, we started out the day by DC fast charging the Air to get the battery nice and warm for peak performance. The temperature was 51° F (10.5° C) when we started the day, which isn't really ideal conditions for range testing. However, by the end of the day, the temperature had crept up to 69° F (20.5° C) which is much more range-friendly.
As always, we set the tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressure, which was 49psi. We had the climate control set to 68 degrees as we do with all of the cars we test. We put the Air in the most efficient driving mode which is "Smooth", and tested the speedometer to GPS for accuracy.
The Air's speedometer was a little fast, as 70-mph on the speedometer was showing 68-69 mph on multiple GPS apps that we use to calibrate the speed. Therefore, we set the Air's adaptive cruise control to 72 mph to arrive at a true 70-mph for the test.
The Air's range and consumption rate were fairly consistent in each quarter of the range test. The beginning of the test delivered the worst range as 100% to 75% only netted 120 miles.
The following three-quarters of the trip achieved 128, 126, & 126, respectively. The consumption rate remained consistent and was on 4.3 mi per kWh for the vast majority of the drive, and only dropped down to 4.2 mi/kWh on occasion.
When the range test was over, we had used 117+ kWh of the Air's 118 kWh usable battery capacity, so we really ran it down to a completely drained battery. We drove the Air for six miles after the state of charge read zero, and about 3 more miles after the display said we had consumed 117 kWh on the trip. That leads us to believe we had less than .25 kWh left in the battery when we ended the test.
|Starting & Ending State of Charge||Miles Driven / Total Miles||kWh Used / Total kWh|
|100% to 75%||120 / 120||29 / 29|
|75% to 50%||128 / 248||29 / 58|
|50% to 25%||126 / 374||30 / 88|
|25% to 0%||126 / 500||29 / 117|
We wanted to see it reach 118 kWh on the display screen, but the vehicle started to become unresponsive and wasn't accelerating when we pressed the go pedal. At that point, we figured it was time to end the test and plug the Air into the Electrify America DC fast charger.
Lucid uses the 5-cycle test procedure to certify its vehicle's range with the EPA. Tesla, Audi, Polestar, and Rivian also use the 5-cycle test, while all other OEMs use the 2-cycle test. The 2-cycle test is a simpler method and OEMs must deduct 30% of the range the vehicle achieves on the 2-cycle test.
When using the 5-cycle test, since they complete three more test cycles, manufacturers don't have to deduct the full 30%. They do have to adjust the number downward, but it isn't a straight 30%, and it varies depending on the vehicle and the results of the 5-cycle test.
In our 70-mph highway range tests, vehicles that have been EPA certified using the 5-cycle test, tend to perform less favorably as compared to their EPA range figure than EVs that have been range certified using the 2-cycle test.
Tesla vehicles, for instance, usually underperform their EPA range number by 10% to 13%. The Air actually did very well in this regard, falling only 4% short of its EPA range rating (surprisingly, the highway, city, and combined range rating for the Air Dream Edition Range are all 520 miles).
So check out the video and let us know what you think in the comment section below. Impressed? Not surprised? Whatever your opinion, we'd like to hear your thoughts on the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range achieving a 500-mile range on our 70-mph range test.
About our 70-mph range tests:
We want to make it clear our range tests aren't perfect. There are variables simply out of our control like wind, traffic, and weather. However, we do our best to control what we can. We always set the tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressure, we crosscheck the speedometer with a GPS for accuracy, we DC fast charge up to 100 percent and enter the highway either immediately or within a couple of miles. Then we drive at a constant 70 mph and in long loops so we end up either where we started, or very close by.
Driving conditions, temperature, and topography will affect an EVs driving range and our 70-mph range tests serve only as a guideline of approximately what you should expect if you drive the same EV under similar conditions.