Range is the Holy Grail of the EV industry. There are too few charging stations outside large US cities that make it possible to drive 300 uninterrupted miles. Once a public charging station is found, it often takes one to two hours to charge a car’s battery in order to drive an additional 200 miles. Range availability and efficiency of charging stations may be the biggest hurdles to nationwide public acceptance of EVs. Based on independent data, only one EV available in the US has a range above 500 miles.
Car research firm Edmunds recently released its “Electric Car Range and Consumption” study. This study compared EPA range estimates with range figures based on proprietary tests. Edmunds calculated its figures on battery consumption tests, including ambient temperature data.
The only EV with a range over 500 miles based on the EPA and Edmund’s count was the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Range. The EPA range figure was 520. The Edmunds’ number was 505. Only one other vehicle topped 500 miles. The 2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring with 19-inch wheels had an EPA estimate of 519. However, the Edmunds range was only 465 miles.
Unfortunately, Lucid, the public company, is a train wreck. Lucid customers take a risk when they buy cars from Lucid, a company that may not be in business. As a sign of the company’s difficulties, its shares have dropped 88% over the last two years.
Lucid’s operating and financial results have been a nightmare. The stock, already down sharply, collapsed further when the company announced that it produced only 1,550 cars in the third quarter. It delivered 1,457. Analysts expected 2,000. Tesla produced 430,488 vehicles in the same period.
When Lucid announced its final earnings results for the third quarter, its forecasts were disappointing. First, management dropped its production forecast for 2023 from 10,000 to a range of 8,000 to 8,500. In addition, the company reported that Lucid had lost $2.2 billion on $1.5 billion in revenue for the first nine months of 2023.
Even though Lucid created an EV with an impressive 500-mile range, its future is in doubt due to its disastrous financial results. This is a cautionary tale for the near-term future of EVs in America. Lucid sells an extremely expensive $90,000, well-regarded car with an industry-leading range. However, will people continue to buy cars from EV companies that may not survive?