Does Lucid Have a Compelling Case Against Rival Tesla in the EV Market?

Alex Reale
Dec 14, 2021 · 3 min read
The new Lucid Air is undeniably cool. The electric sedan has a kind of Tron chic, with its banded grille and silver accents. You can imagine someone from future iterations of Blade Runner steering it into a dark Los Angeles alley.
You can’t help but compare the brand to the current champion of the electric vehicle (EV) space. Does Lucid have a case against Tesla?
Lucid logo on the side of the company’s factory building
It’s too early to tell whether Lucid can surpass Tesla, but it’s exciting to compare the brands.

Lucid Motors won an important contest

Lucid Motors is a fairly recent addition to the world of EVs, with the Lucid Air coming out in September of 2020. Though young, the startup has already begun to turn heads. In fact, the Lucid Air recently bested the Tesla Model S in a contest of range, according to the New York Times. On one charge, the Lucid Air can travel 520 miles, which is about 100 miles more than the Tesla Model S.
Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineer, notes that this impressive stat was achieved not with “an oversize battery pack,” but with “in-house E.V. technology,” which bodes well for the overall efficiency of the vehicles. Theoretically, less weight and less complicated engines mean less time in the shop.

Head-to-head with the top dog

Is the Lucid Air’s achievement in range enough to offset the advantages of a Tesla? One important factor for many people is cost. Tesla’s cheapest offering right now is just north of $43,000, and the company has been around long enough to have a bustling used market. Lucid, by contrast, offers the Air for $77,000. For cost-conscious consumers, this could be the limiting factor.
Other considerations may sway the jury as well. Tesla has had more time to develop several different electric models, including multiple versions of its iconic sedan, an SUV, and the upcoming pickup. Lucid is banking on just one type of car for the time being, which will be an automatic “no” for anyone who’s not in the market for a specific sedan.

Can Lucid surpass Tesla?

Lucid is, of course, only in its infancy, and they’ve promised the public much more than just the Air. So perhaps this is an argument that should be revisited in a few years, once the company has had some time to catch up.
Plus, there’s the sexy startup Rivian to consider, which may dethrone everyone. And, if we’re being honest, we’re not quite ready to have this conversation in the U.S. until we’ve really buckled down and developed the infrastructure to support electric vehicles. After all, there’s no point in having 520 miles of range if you get to Yosemite and there isn’t a charging station.

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