Tesla’s long reign as the leader in electric vehicle driving range is officially over.
The Environmental Protection Agency this week certified that a new sedan from startup EV maker Lucid Motors can travel 520 miles per charge.
It’s the first time that the agency determined that an all-battery vehicle has eclipsed the 500-mile range mark, and it bests the top offering from Tesla by more than 100 miles, the New York Times reports.
The rating applies to the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range, the much-hyped startup’s debut vehicle and the top-of-the-line version of its Air electric sedan. The newly certified vehicle is slated for deliveries beginning later this year to customers who paid a sticker price of $170,000 before federal or state electric vehicle incentives.
Lucid plans to eventually roll out more economical versions of the Air, including a base model that will be below $70,000 when a federal tax credit is factored in. The company says the base model’s range would roughly match the range on the previous record-holder, the Tesla Model S Long Range.
The company, formed in Silicon Valley more than a decade ago, is among many startups that hoped to challenge Tesla for EV supremacy. Its predecessor company was founded by former Tesla engineers, and it received an investment of more than $1 billion from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund three years ago to finalize its long-delayed first vehicle and get its factory in Arizona up and running.
The new record marks a significant achievement for a relatively new automaker, but as governments and car companies alike increasingly move toward electric vehicles, it might not last all that long. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in fact, said last fall that the company is working on a vehicle that could go more than 600 miles on a single charge.