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Lucid says its first electric car drove 445 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco without charging, easily besting Tesla's range (LCID, TSLA)

Lucid AirLucid Motors

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Electric-vehicle startup Lucid Motors is on the cusp of delivering its first vehicle: the Air sedan. But it still faces the daunting task of convincing shoppers to go with an untested upstart over a proven EV maker like its biggest rival, Tesla. 

There's one key edge that Lucid may have over Elon Musk: range. Lucid proved that the Air gives Tesla's best cars a run for their money and then some during a recent journey in the car with Motor Trend.

Lucid claims the limited-run Air Dream Edition, its first vehicle, can travel up to 517 miles on a full battery, over 100 miles more than the Tesla Model S, which has dominated the range game for years.

Motor Trend drove an Air 445 miles from Los Angeles to the Bay Area on a single charge and noted 30 miles of range remained, a feat that would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago. (Tesla crossed the 400-mile-range threshold just last year). The outlet took the trip with Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, whose identical vehicle showed 72 miles of charge left, adding up to a total range of 517 miles. 

Read more: Rivian rival Lucid's CEO says he delayed his $77,000 EV by nearly a year because he can't gamble on quality control: 'We have one shot at this'

Range is a top consideration for EV buyers who want to comfortably take long trips even as charging infrastructure in the US lags. That Lucid can produce a vehicle with a range so far ahead of the competition (albeit at a high price) bodes well for its future in the cutthroat and increasingly packed EV space. 

Motor Trend and Rawlinson made the journey in a pair of Dream Edition Range models, which Lucid announced on Wednesday would be an available trim in addition to Dream Edition Performance models. The Performance version promises 1,111 horsepower and a 2.5-second 0-60-mph time, while the Range variant is more geared toward squeezing out mileage. It still claims a bonkers 933 horsepower. 

Both vehicles start at $169,000, but Lucid has more affordable cars in the pipeline. Lucid delayed the Air's launch from the spring and plans to start shipping Airs by late 2021. 

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