Tesla Battery Day in Focus, as Lucid Raises Bar for 500-Mile Ultra-Performance EVs

September 2020 can finally be considered as the month when 500 miles of the EPA range became the standard for major electric vehicles. The month is set to host two notable events from two EV manufacturers in the United States: Tesla’s Battery Day and Lucid Air’s official unveiling. Between these two events, the emergence of more premium electric vehicles lasting 400–500 miles on a single charge is almost a given.

Expectations for Tesla’s Battery Day are high. More than a year in the making, the company led by Elon Musk has left clues as to what will happen as Battery Day. Yet a few weeks before the event, one of the things that will be discussed during Battery Day remains a mystery. There are strong estimates of a million-mile battery due to Maxwell’s dry battery electrode technology, and a visit to the company’s pilot “roadrunner” cell production line seems certain.

But apart from these discussions, speculation also suggests that Tesla could very well showcase a vehicle that would be equipped with the company’s million-mile cells. If the rumors turn out to be true, the car will likely be the Plaid Model S, given that the company has tested the prototype for the EV last year and Elon Musk has teased a 2020 release for the vehicle. Given that the Plaid Model S will have significant upgrades from the Raven Model S sold today, it would not be surprising if the range of the flagship sedan would be over 400 miles.

Interestingly enough, Tesla would be wise to announce the Plaid Model S range at Battery Day, as electric carmaker Lucid has landed a strong contender in the premium EV segment. More recently, Lucid has revealed that Air, its ultra-luxury electric vehicle, will have 517 miles per charge. The company has also revealed that the Air will have a 1,080 hp powertrain that will allow the vehicle to run a quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds. Both of these feats are incredibly impressive, and it will certainly advance electrification.

Companies like Tesla, which are leading the pack in their respective fields, need a strong challenge to accelerate the pace of innovation. This means that when companies like Lucid raise the bar with a vehicle like Air, leaders like Tesla will likely push their efforts more and come up with better vehicles. This bodes well for the electric vehicle sector as a whole, especially given that more EV only companies are emerging like Rivian, NIO and Bollinger Motors.

If there is something that will emphasize Tesla’s Battery Day and Lucid Air unveiling, it is the fact that major EVs with EPA ratings in the 200-mile range should expire. If newcomers like Tesla and Lucid and even Rivian could be hit 400 miles and more, then ultimately, there is really no excuse for legacy automakers to push the flagship EV that is still in range in 2012. The models compete with the S. The change is very certain for electric vehicles at this point, and experienced car manufacturers would be wise to let everyone on the transition, no matter how painful it is.