Which EV reigns supreme: the Lucid Air or the Tesla Model S?. The Lucid Air vs Tesla Model S are unquestionably the two hottest Electric Vehicle (EV) sedans on the market today. While the Tesla Model S has been building a name for itself for over a decade, the Lucid Air is a brand new design from Lucid Motors, an upstart EV company. Today, we’ll look at the most important debate in the EV market: the Lucid Air vs Tesla Model S.
Both vehicles offer comparable performance and battery range at comparable prices. With its sleek appearance and legendary Ludicrous model performance, the Tesla Model S has long reigned supreme in the market. Yet, the Lucid Air has received rave reviews, with some believing it dethrones the Model S.
This article will compare the 2023 Lucid Air vs Model S sedans to determine which is the EV market king. Is the Model S still the market leader in the EV sedan segment, or has the Lucid Air surpassed it? Let us investigate.
History of Lucid Air vs. Tesla
Despite Lucid Motors is a relative newcomer to the EV market, they were founded around the same time as Tesla. Tesla, formerly known as Tesla Motors, was formed in July 2003. They immediately dominated the EV market, featuring impressive performance numbers, adequate battery range, and eye-catching looks.
Tesla launched their second vehicle, the Model S, a high-performance Sedan and successor to the Tesla Roadster, in 2012. The Model S has been listed as one of the top EV sedans every year since 2013, and it is by far the most popular on the general market. Tesla has improved the Model S practically every year since 2013, starting with the Model S 60 in 2013 and ending with the Model S Palladium.
Lucid Motors, formerly known as Atieva, was created in 2007 as a third-party manufacturer of batteries and motors for other electric vehicles. Lucid Motors officially changed their name in 2016, and later that year, they presented a prototype of the Air. Manufacturing began in 2021, and the first Lucid Air Dreams were delivered to clients in October.
Both the Model S and the Lucid Air are available for order for 2023, though production on the Lucid Air has been slow. Both the Model S and the Lucid Air are available in a variety of configurations, ranging from entry-level basic models through range-topping and performance models. The entry-level Lucid Air costs less than the Model S, but the performance Air Dream costs more than the performance S Plaid.
Specs of the Lucid Air contrasted. the Model S
Model S Trim Levels vs. Lucid Air
Models of 2023 Lucid Air:
- Pure Lucid Air
- Touring by Lucid Air
- Grand Touring by Lucid Air
- Dream Version of Lucid Air (Range and Performance Trims)
- The Sapphire Lucid Air
Models of Tesla Model S for 2023:
- Model S by Tesla
- Plaid Tesla Model S
- Price for the Lucid Air vs. the Model S
Let’s begin our analysis with one of the most significant factors of acquiring an EV: pricing. The Lucid Air comes in five trim levels, with the Lucid Air Pure being the most affordable at $87,400. Price quickly rises from there, reaching $107,400 for the Touring and $154,000 for the Grand Touring. The Lucid Air Dream costs $169,000, with reservations limited.
The Sapphire will be available from Lucid Air in 2023. The Sapphire costs a whopping $249,000 before any delivery charges, taxes, or tax rebates/breaks.
The Tesla Model S, on the other hand, comes in two varieties: the Model S and the Model S Plaid. Tesla starts at $104,990 for the standard Model S Long Range and $135,990 for the Model S Plaid.
How to Choose Between an Air and a Model S
Both the Tesla and the Lucid Air are available online only, with no dealerships. To purchase a Lucid Air vs Model S, simply go online and place a reservation for one that is currently being made, or register for one that is already available. Price remains constant and there is no bargaining, but you will not be upsold by the website in comparison to others.
Despite the lack of dealerships, you can still compare the Lucid Air and Model S in person. Tesla has long had showrooms where you may speak with a Tesla professional and, in some cases, test drive a car. There, you may scrutinize every detail of the Model S from head to toe.
Lucid Air is much younger than Tesla, and as a result, they only recently established their first Lucid Air Studio in Cherry Creek, Colorado, during the summer of 2022. It is Lucid’s only retail outlet, while they intend to establish at least 27 more in the near future.
Availability of the Air compared. the Model S
It’s no secret that the Model S is far more accessible than the Lucid Air. Tesla’s output greatly outstrips that of Lucid Motors, and by a wide margin. Tesla’s delivery period is only a few weeks, whereas Lucid Motors requires you to submit a reservation without a specific delivery date. Customers have reported waiting for their Lucid Air delivery date for 2-3 months.
Also, both Model S trim levels are available for purchase, although not all Lucid Air trims are. Lucid Motors, in instance, has had difficulty satisfying orders for the top-of-the-line Dream Edition and is no longer accepting reservations. Lucid Motors has already had to reduce their planned quota many times.
When Lucid Motors spends more in their facilities, they will be able to compete more effectively, but for the time being, they cannot compete with Tesla’s output.
Price Comparison: Lucid Air vs. Model S: Tesla
In terms of pricing, we give the nod to Tesla. The Lucid Air Pure is roughly $20,000 less expensive than the standard Model S, yet it outperforms it in terms of range. However, higher trim levels of the Lucid Air, such as the Grand Touring and Dream, are significantly more expensive than the high-spec Model S Plaid. Don’t get me started on the Sapphire, which is more than $100,000 more expensive than the Model S Plaid.
For the same price, the Model S will have superior performance with a tiny decrease in battery range. Let’s compare the similarly priced Model S basic and Lucid Air Touring immediately. The standard Model S accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and has a range of 405 miles. The Lucid Air Touring accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds and has a maximum range of 425 miles. Both battery ranges are based on 19-inch wheels.
The Lucid Air Grand Touring costs just under $10,000 extra for an additional 20 miles of range at the cost of around 50 horsepower (620 vs 670). Depending on your priorities, the additional payment may be worth it to compensate for the lack of performance. Yet, in our opinion, performance is always king, and the extra money does not warrant the extra travel.
If you want greater range from the Lucid Air, you’ll need to upgrade to the Grand Touring trim, which is significantly more expensive – and slower – than the Model S Plaid.
Performance of the Lucid Air vs. the Model S
In terms of power, both the Lucid Air and the Model S have outstanding performance specs. Beginning with the 480 horsepower Lucid Air Pure, it can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. The Lucid Air Touring takes 3.4 seconds with 620 horsepower while the Grand Touring takes 2.6 seconds with 1,050 horsepower.
Lucid boasts that their top-of-the-line Dream Edition Performance can reach 60 mph in 2.5 seconds thanks to 1,111 horsepower. Despite official specifications have not been disclosed in full, the 2023 Lucid Air Sapphire will feature 1,200 horsepower and a 0-60 mph pace of 1.89 seconds.
The standard Model S, on the other hand, can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds thanks to 670 horsepower. With 1,020 horsepower, the Model S Plaid accelerates in 1.99 seconds (initial foot of rollout removed).
Hence, from slowest to fastest, the hierarchy goes as follows: Lucid Air Pure; Lucid Air Touring; Tesla Model S Long Range; Lucid Air Grand Touring; Lucid Air Dream Edition; Tesla Model S Plaid; Lucid Air Sapphire (potential).
Tesla and Lucid Motors both use dual-motors in the Model S basic and all Airs except the Sapphire. The Model S Plaid and Sapphire, on the other hand, use tri-motor designs, which provides them exceptional performance. All trims of the current Model S have all-wheel drive, whereas the Lucid Air has both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive choices.
Performance Comparison: Tesla Model S vs. Air
In terms of performance, Tesla once again takes the lead. The Model S is often speedier and less expensive than the Lucid Air, though this depends on your exact model. Yet, when it comes to price, the Model S is a considerably better buy.
To match the performance of the Model S with the Air, the Grand Touring trim is required, which costs more than $20,000 more than the Model S Plaid. At that price, the Plaid S outperforms the Grand Touring, as does the more expensive Dream Edition.
The Sapphire will almost certainly outperform the Model S Plaid in terms of 0-60 mph, but boy, will you have to pay for it. We claimed that performance is always king, but when it costs an extra $120,000 for a difference of 0.10 seconds, things get a bit problematic. We’d fly the Lucid Air Sapphire any day of the week, but the Model S still wins in terms of performance.
Model S Batteries vs. Lucid Air Battery
We’re talking about electric automobiles, therefore we’ll compare the Lucid Air and Tesla Model S batteries. If you’re only looking for performance, you’re probably not looking for an EV, then batteries are the most significant consideration.
The Lucid Air is powered by 112-118 kWh batteries. It’s unclear what size battery the Model S utilizes, and Tesla has refused to specify, although it’s usually assumed to be a 100 kWh battery. The batteries of the Lucid Air and Model S are both lithium ion.
Battery Life of an Air vs. a Model S
In terms of battery range, the Lucid Air outperforms the Model S in almost every category. The Model S has a range of 375-405 miles, whereas the Model S Plaid only has 348-396 miles. The range is indicated for tire size since the larger the tire, the narrower the range. The stock tires on the Model S are either 19 or 21 inches in diameter.
The cheapest Lucid Air, the Pure, has a maximum battery range of 410 miles (on 19-inch wheels), and this increases with each trim level. The Touring has a maximum range of 425 miles, while the Grand Touring has a maximum range of 469 miles. The Dream Edition has both the Range and Performance sub-trims, with the Range topping out at 520 miles (with 19 inch wheels). The projected range of the Sapphire is yet unclear.
As can be seen, even the base Lucid Air has a longer range than the Model S Long Range. Moreover, if you want the performance of the Model S Plaid, you’ll have to give up much more range. The Lucid Air Grand Touring, on the other hand, has equal performance as the Model S, but with potentially over 200 miles more range – and a $20,000 price hike.
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Charging Time and Chargers for the Model S vs. the Air
When discussing EV charging, two essential elements must be considered: charging rate and charging station availability. While the Lucid Air has a faster charging rate, its availability is significantly more uncertain.
Tesla is well-known for their ever-expanding network of Superchargers. According to the Tesla Supercharger Map, not only does every state have numerous chargers, but the more than 40,000 available Supercharging spots cover a large portion of the United States. They are also generally regarded as dependable and in good functioning order.
Lucid Motors, on the other hand, relies on the Electrify America network of EV chargers for the Air. There are fewer than 1,000 EA chargers in the United States, and the Electrify America Charging Stations Map pales in comparison to Tesla. Also, numerous EA stations have received negative ratings due to billing issues. Many customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of ultra-fast charging, which has caused them to wait longer.
This leads us to the second component of our comparison, the billing rate. On paper, the Lucid Air should charge faster than the Model S, taking 13 hours to charge with a conventional 240 volt charger vs 15 hours for the Model S.
The Lucid Air can add 300 miles in 20 minutes at a Supercharger or EA station utilizing the fastest charging option, whereas the Model S adds 200 miles in 15 minutes. That equates to 15 miles per hour in the Lucid Air and slightly more than 13 miles per hour in the Model S.
Verdict on the Air vs. Model S Battery: Lucid Air
This one is tricky, but we give the Lucid Air the advantage. The Lucid Air gets the top spot thanks to its extended range and faster charging times. The Model S battery is marginally more efficient than the Lucid Air battery, but the size difference helps the Air battery overcome its constraints.
The charging station scenario is the sole drawback to the Lucid Air. It can be difficult to rely on Electrify America, especially if you live in South Dakota, where there are now none available. But, Tesla Superchargers are expensive, whereas Lucid Motors is now offering three years of free charging at EA.
It’s close, but we’re sticking with Lucid Air on this one. There is also rumor that Lucid Motors will soon be able to use Tesla Superchargers via an adaptor, closing the availability gap between the two significantly. However, this has yet to be confirmed.
Interior & Comfort of Lucid Air vs Tesla
If you’re paying $100,000 to $250,000 on a sedan, you want a nice and comfy cabin. In those areas, both the Model S and the Lucid Air excel, but in different ways.
Since its introduction, the Model S has had a somewhat divisive interior. Several drivers are put off by the “yolk” shaped steering wheel, as well as the lack of tangible buttons. The Model S relies primarily on a massive 17-inch touchscreen, making it difficult to use while driving. The touchscreen is well-known for its numerous game and app possibilities, such as Netflix and YouTube, as well as the well-known “dog mode” for when you have a pet in the car.
The Lucid Air, on the other hand, features a more classic interior with a typical performance steering wheel. The Lucid Air also replaces most buttons with a smaller touchscreen, which has received mixed reviews. Numerous users have claimed that the touchscreen is sometimes slow to respond. It also does not offer the same level of infotainment as the Tesla, albeit it does support Apple Carplay and Android Auto, which the Tesla does not.
Interior Design Winner: Lucid Air vs. Tesla
For us, it’s a toss-up between the Lucid Air interior and the Model S interior. Some individuals believe the Lucid Air is more elegant and professional, but others believe the Model S is more aggressive. It’s mostly a wash for us.
Although the Lucid Air is slightly more comfortable than the Model S, the Model S has a far superior infotainment system. You may like the interior and Apple Carplay/Android Auto depending on your priorities. Yet, the majority of customers will likely favor the Tesla’s touchscreen and the Lucid Air’s comfort, making it a toss-up.
Reliability of Lucid Air vs. Tesla
In our final comparison, we’ll check at the dependability of the Lucid Air vs Model S. The Model S has been on the market for a decade, thus it is bound to have more flaws than the brand new Lucid Air. Regrettably, even for Tesla, the Model S has a low dependability rating.
The door handles, as well as the electric motors, have been the focus of complaints on the Model S. The handles have been known to have difficulty opening and remaining closed, as well as locking. For certain folks, the touchscreen may entirely fail, rendering the vehicle useless. There have also been numerous complaints about the drivetrain, with users reporting broken motors and other concerns.
Furthermore, Tesla is recognized for having poor quality control over their build quality. Many Model S owners have complained about rattles and ill-fitting trim pieces, which is disappointing for such a pricey vehicle. Since its release, the Model S has been the subject of 23 NHTSA recalls.
Regrettably, the Lucid Air appears to be faring little better. In its first year, the NHTSA has issued three recalls for the suspension, structural, and electronics. Several customers complain about sluggish and buggy software, which causes things like random A/C shut-off and slow door unlocking. Furthermore, the bumper and charger cover have come off an unusually high number of times. The Lucid Air is off to a rocky start after only a year in production.
Lucid Air vs. Model S Reliability: Neither
Regrettably, we cannot endorse the Model S or the Lucid Air in terms of dependability. Both have had challenges from the start, with the Model S becoming almost as well known for quality control issues as it is for performance. The Lucid Air, on the other hand, is only a year old and has already experienced a slew of problems.
Hopefully, Tesla and Lucid Motors can work it out soon, because the Model S and Air have the potential to be among the best automobiles ever made. But they both have a long way to go until they figure out quality control.
Verdict: Model S vs. Lucid Air
Our final Lucid Air vs Tesla Model S verdicts are as follows:
Tesla Model S Price
Tesla Model S performance
Lucid Air is the battery.
It’s a tough call between the two, but for the ordinary driver, we’d go with the Model S. We’d go so far as to suggest the Lucid Air is probably a slightly better vehicle. Nevertheless, the exorbitant price tag and early quality control concerns are too much for it to overcome.
The Lucid Air has a larger battery, which improves its range, but it comes at a high price. Nevertheless, Lucid’s victory in this category is slightly mitigated by the scarcity of charging facilities. The Tesla Model S has significantly higher performance at a lesser cost, and it is considerably easier to obtain and charge.
However, neither of them is particularly dependable at the moment, and they have got comparable interiors. Most people will be concerned with battery life, performance, and pricing. Although the Lucid Air has the superior battery, the Model S outperforms it in terms of performance and pricing.
If you have the extra cash and are ready to cope with the growing pains of new production in exchange for longer battery life, we’d recommend the Lucid Air. Nevertheless, if you want to save money while getting higher performance at the sacrifice of some range, the Tesla Model S is the way to go.