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Lucid unveils Air's 900-volt charging system, 3 years of free charging and more

The luxury EV will theoretically be able to recover as much as 20 miles of range per minute at its maximum charge rate.

Lucid owners will be able to charge at over 19 kilowatts on AC or up to 350 kilowatts DC.

When driving an electric car regularly, the vehicle's ability to quickly recover mileage when hooked up to a charger is almost more important than the vehicle's maximum range. Would the general public be as excited about Tesla, for example, if its Supercharger network didn't exist to make fast charging easy? 

Realizing that, EV startup Lucid Motors announced on Wednesday that not only would buyers of its first car, the Air sedan, get the benefit of its crazy-bananas 500-mile range, but that they will receive three years of 350-kilowatt DC fast charging for free from Electrify America, the VW-backed countrywide charging network. 

But wait -- there's more. Lucid also announced the Air's ability to handle 900-volt charging. That will allow the Air, in theory, to recoup 20 miles of range per minute of charging at its max rate. For comparison, Porsche's Taycan made waves when it announced it was bringing 800-volt charging to market, and this handily eclipses that.

"We designed every aspect of the Lucid Air and its platform in-house to be hyper-efficient, from the powertrain to the aerodynamics, and we've set several new benchmarks through these efforts including the longest range EV with an estimated EPA range of 517 miles," said Eric Bach, Lucid's vice president of hardware engineering, in a statement. "With our ultra-high voltage 900V+ electrical architecture and the proprietary Wunderbox, we have significantly increased the speed of energy getting into, around, and even out of the vehicle, delivering the world's fastest charging EV packed with future-ready charging features."

But what if you don't have access to a sweet, sweet DC fast charger and you're left to plug into an AC-based charger? Lucid thought of that too. The Air has an on-board 19.2-kW AC charger that will charge at a rate of 80 miles of range per hour if supplied with an adequate source of power. Lucid also plans to enable vehicle-to-grid and even vehicle-to-vehicle charging functionality later down the road, as well as a home energy storage system (a la Tesla's Powerwall) using out-of-spec vehicle batteries.

Like most EVs on sale today, the Air will use the nearly ubiquitous CCS charging standard, so you won't have to worry about finding a proprietary charging station or fiddling with adapters, again taking some of the hassle out of owning and driving an electric car.

The Lucid Air is set to receive its full production debut online on Sept. 9, with vehicle production slated to begin early next year in Lucid's Arizona factory.

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