Currently reading: Lucid aims for electric cars to achieve 6.2 miles per kWh
EV equivalent of 100mpg is the "holy grail" for EV development, says Lucid CEO

Lucid boss Peter Rawlinson has said improving the efficiency of electric cars so they can travel 10km (6.2 miles) per kWh is the “holy grail” that will ensure that EVs will help to “save the planet”.

The result of this would be a car that achieves a 300km (186-mile) range with only a 30kWh battery pack, dramatically reducing the cost of the car in the process given that a battery can be as much as 40% the cost of an electric car at the moment.

Lucid, a US start-up that makes a large luxury saloon called the Lucid Air, produces its downsized electric motors and energy-dense batteries in-house and already boasts efficiency that is the envy of rivals. 

“People think that we’re on a bandwagon of making expensive, luxury SUVs but we’re here to advance the technology with state-of-the-art EVs,” Rawlinson said, speaking at a presentation to Car of the Year jurors at the Geneva motor show.

The figures Rawlinson quotes are all based on the tougher US EPA ratings for electric cars rather than the WLTP standard of Europe. This could mean that, when converted to a metric used in the UK, Rawlinson’s 6.2 miles per kWh goal becomes around eight miles per kWh, which is more than double what you’d typically find on the market today for even the most efficient electric car. 

The entry-level Air Pure achieves 4.7 miles per kWh on the latest, more stringent EPA tests, one mile per kWh better than the most efficient Tesla Model S. Rawlinson said that getting to 5.0mpkWh on a car of the Air’s size would be a reality “pretty soon”.

Lucid Air driving – rear quarter

The 6.2 miles per kWh goal is one that Rawlison “would love to get to” with the firm’s planned smaller mid-size SUV due in late 2026 but in reality “it is a bit further out”.

When that efficiency is reached, the battery can become dramatically smaller to reduce the cost and weight of the vehicle and still provide an acceptable range. And Rawlinson said reducing the size of the battery will always make the biggest difference in cost to electric cars. 

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“Not far in the future, you can get 10km per kWh and then it’s a 300km range from a 30kWh battery, which is much smaller than today [even an electric supermini would have an approximately 50kWh battery],” said Rawlinson. “Then you can reduce the cost of the battery from $20,000 to around $3000-$4000 with proper industrialisation and economies of scale.

“Things like gigacasting will save hundred of pounds in the production of the body but what I’m talking about tries to save thousands.

“We currently already only need a battery two-thirds the size of our competitors' and that reduces by a third the amount of lithium mined, cobalt mined, and reduces the need for that energy to be made anyway.”

Rawlison said Lucid’s technical advantage in efficiency lies in several areas, including the thermodynamic and magnetic performance of the downsized electric motors, as well as in the way the battery is connected and the software that operates all the running gear.

Lucid used the Geneva show to give a European debut to the new Sapphire version of the Air, which has a 0-62mph time of just two seconds and will go on sale in Lucid’s chosen European markets later this year. The firm remains keen and open to a UK launch but has yet to commit to a date to do so.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Marc 1 March 2024
This is where EV development should be heading rather than irrelevant and irresponsible 0-60 times. It's incredible that one the oldest (mass produced) EVs around, the Zoe, is still one of the most efficient.
Ruaraidh 1 March 2024

"EV equivalent of 100mpg"


6.2mi/kWh (160Wh/mi) is TWO HUNDRED and SEVENTY mpg (Imp)  nearly THREE TIMES 100mpg.....

Come on, fix the headline, I know what you're trying to say (6.2mi/kWh is for an EV as 100mpg is for an ICE) but it comes across completely wrong implying that even with brand new developments, EVs can barely manage 100mpg.   

100mpg is 430Wh/mi which is utterly hopeless and even a ten year old Model X can do that.  

Poor from Autocar, this is not what I pay subs for.  Do better.


Will86 1 March 2024
Good to see this push for efficiency. EVs are still in their infancy and the future of the technology is exciting. Would make me hesitate on buying one right now though.