Reasons to buy Lucid Air over Tesla
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
We know that Tesla, in so far as electric vehicles are concerned – is by far dominant in their share in the market. They have several other prime competitors such as NIO, Generals Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen but Tesla seems to lead the group making up almost 74% of EVs sold in the US.
So, what are Tesla’s Competitive Advantages over other EV manufacturers?
First-mover advantage: Tesla has been around the EV industry a lot longer than its competitors. It enjoys brand recognition, word-of-mouth advertising, and a much more expansive charging network thanks to its time in the market.
Autonomous Driving: It’s estimated that Tesla has amassed roughly 2 billion miles of data through its Autopilot driver-assist feature, each and every inch of which has strengthened its self-driving algorithm through machine learning. The data from which Tesla can avail of is streets ahead of Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Waymo and General Motor’s Cruise.
Battery Power: The main reason why Tesla made up almost 74% of electric vehicles sold in the U.S. for the last three years is simple: its cars go further. Tesla’s Model S has a range of 380 miles. Its closest competitor? The Model 3, followed in third by the Model X. Many people call Tesla a battery company that sells cars, with this type of dominance it’s easy to see why.
Brand Evangelicals: Slightly less tangible than its other competitive advantages, but no less important, is the almost cult-like following Tesla garners. Fans of the company and the stock truly think Tesla is on the brink of changing the world for the better, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is as deliveries and the stock continues to soar.
Given these, Tesla seems to have power over the EV world and has continued its dominance over the years since it has constantly won the race of coming up with electric cars that can go in longer distances before charging.
Then came Lucid Air – a new challenger in the electric car era and the first model from startup Lucid Motors. Lucid and its chief executive, Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineer, have said for months that their cars will go further than Tesla’s because they are more aerodynamic and use smaller, more efficient motors and other components. The E.P.A. provided official confirmation of those claims. The Air is spacious and the upscale cabin is covered by a glassy canopy that should help it live up to its atmospheric name. It also mixes practicality with technology, sporting capacious storage options, and no shortage of driver assists.
Well, as you probably already know Lucid’s main advantage over Tesla’s is its range. Lucid’s top-of-the-line Air Dream Edition Range can drive 520 miles on a full battery beating by more than 100 miles the Tesla Model S Long Range, previously the car that could go the furthest on a charge.
How far electric cars can travel before they have to be plugged in — a metric known as their range — is important because the infrastructure for charging the vehicles is in its infancy, and filling up a battery can take hours depending on the car and charger.
Aside from Range, Here are three major technology advantages that Lucid claims it will have over Tesla:
One standout feature of the forthcoming Lucid Air sedan is planned support for bi-directional charging, which will facilitate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging.
Typically, when an EV runs out of juice, you have to tow it to the nearest charger since there isn’t a practical way to bring energy to the car. Unlike a plastic gas canister, EV batteries often weigh around 1,000 pounds. Being able to charge an EV off another EV can potentially offer a more convenient solution in an emergency situation.
Speaking of emergency situations, the recent winter storms that battered Texas have reminded everyone of how critical it is to have access to electricity. While many of the issues that plagued the Lone Star State’s electric grid are unique to Texas, the crisis underscored another possible use case of having an enormous EV battery sitting in your garage.
During a power outage, a Lucid Air owner will soon be able to power their entire home using the vehicle’s high-voltage battery pack. The feature is facilitated by a proprietary technology that Lucid calls a Wunderbox, the onboard charging unit.
It’s worth noting that Tesla vehicles are technically capable of this — hackers and tinkerers have hooked up Tesla’s to power a home — but that the company has chosen not to officially support it for whatever reason. In fact, using a Tesla as a stationary power source will explicitly void the vehicle’s warranty. Maybe Tesla just prefers that people separately buy Powerwalls instead.
Few areas are as critical to an EV as efficiency, usually measured either by watt hours per mile (Wh/mi) or miles per kilowatt hour (mi/kWh). Everything from charging speed to estimated range hinges on this critical metric. The greater the efficiency, the longer range the vehicle will have and the more miles that it can add while charging.
Rawlinson has noted that consumers really just care about the functionality of how much range they can add over some unit of time, not how many kWh they are putting into their car. Lucid says that the Air can achieve over 4.5 mi/kWh, compared to around 4 mi/kWh for the Tesla Model S. Other rivals are below 3 mi/kWh.
Additionally, higher efficiency allows an EV to travel a specific range with a smaller battery pack. With battery packs being the most expensive component of any EV by far, reducing the size of the pack needed paves the way for a lower price tag for the EV itself over time.
A smaller, more powerful drive unit
Lucid has also made impressive progress in miniaturizing its drive unit, which consists of a permanent magnet motor, the power inverter, and a transmission. In doing so, the company claims to have a dramatically higher power-to-weight ratio, as measured by horsepower per kilogram (hp/kg). At 9 hp/kg, the Air’s drive unit is far higher than rivals that are closer to a ratio of 3.
As to price, Lucid is taking Tesla’s approach to new vehicles, starting with an expensive, upmarket car and working down toward a more economical model. The Air Dream, which is already pre-sold out, costs $169,000. For comparison, the Model S Plaid, Tesla’s fastest and highest-end Model S, starts at $130,000. Lucid Air prices are higher than Tesla Prices since Lucid Cars targets the luxury segment while Tesla is more into higher-volume, although there is a strong rivalry between the two companies on the technology level.
All the noise about Tesla VS Lucid Air could be an advantage to consumers as the competition will bring further innovation. Though the two might not be the most direct competitors as Tesla Cars are more into higher volume while Lucid targets the luxury section of the market.
Lucid’s EV technology is undeniably impressive, but it will still need to prove that it can deliver these types of results in real-world environments. Of course, Tesla has its fair share of advantages, too, such as a Supercharger network that is the most convenient and intuitive among all charging networks. There is surely a lot to look forward on the EVs in the coming years. Tesla’s 2nd generation Roadster and its Cybertruck are coming in the next years and who knows – it just might be the car for you?