Lucid Air to sport a 900-volt system
Lucid Motors will equip the production version of its first electric model Air with a 900-volt system, as CEO Peter Rawlinson just revealed in an interview. For the top version of the Air the manufacturer continues to promise a range of 400 miles (644 km).
In the interview with the US electric mobility news site Electrek, Rawlinson said: “Tesla is a 400-volt. Porsche is introducing an 800-volt system. We are going with an over 900-volt system.” Lucid Motors will be able to exploit the advantages of a 900-volt system primarily within the vehicle, for example by using smaller cable diameters, which reduces weight. During rapid charging, the voltage level of the charging station is very important – as is the case with the 800-volt Taycan. In the USA, there are still many DC chargers with a maximum of 450 volts and charging stations with higher voltages are only gradually being built, as in Europe.
Similar to Tesla with the Model Y, Lucid Motors also wants to achieve significant improvements in the efficiency of the drive – among other things with a newly developed transmission that is to improve the efficiency of the entire system. Therefore, the 400-mile range could be achieved with a smaller (and therefore lighter and cheaper) battery pack than the originally announced capacity of 130 kWh.
Rawlinson did not name a new value for the intended battery pack – nor did he specify whether the Air should later be offered with a larger battery when the installation space for the 130-kWh package is included in the design. The company would like to concentrate first on the higher versions, which will probably cost more than 100,000 dollars. The version announced for 60,000 dollars is apparently to come later but Lucid did not give a time frame.
What Rawlinson did give a somewhat more precise value for, was the luxury electric car’s allegedly achieved efficiency: Lucid Motors wants to achieve a range of four or even five miles per kilowatt-hour and dethrone Tesla as the range and efficiency king of the electric car industry. Tesla promises a value of 4.1 miles per kilowatt-hour for the coming Model Y. Lucid plans to announce the final specifications at the New York Auto Show in April.
Rawlinson also gave an update on the production plant that is currently being built in Arizona. The roof is currently being installed on the structure of the factory and the construction of the production lines can then begin. Originally, production of the Lucid Air, which will be launched in 2017, was scheduled to start in 2018. Due to some problems with the financing of the project, however, the plan was delayed. With a billion-euro investment from Saudi Arabia, construction could then begin in 2019. The first examples of the electric limousine are scheduled to roll off the production line this year.