These 5 Electric Vehicles are Overpriced!

These 5 Electric Vehicles are Overpriced!

ev charging station

At a time when the average transaction price for a new vehicle is inching closer to $50,000, getting your money’s worth matters more than ever. Electric vehicles are popular, but they’re expensive. Most importantly, not all EVs are equal in terms of range, charging speed, and overall value for the money. These are the worst deals for a new electric car in 2022, plus some better alternatives on the market today.

Toyota bZ4X

Toyota bZ4X

Long the authority when it comes to hybrid powertrains, the world waited with great anticipation for the first all-electric Toyota. The automaker that brought us the legendary Prius collaborated with Subaru to engineer the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, and its sibling the Subaru Solterra (more on that below). The result is puzzling. At a time when Hyundai, General Motors and of course Tesla are bringing cars to market with fast-charging times under 30 minutes, Toyota jumps into the game with an electric crossover that takes a whole hour to charge under optimal conditions.

Okay, so it charges slowly. What about the Toyota bZ4X’s range? The front-wheel drive bZ4X is rated for 242 miles with the Limited trim, and 252 miles on the XLE. Upgrade to dual-motor all-wheel drive, and range suffers. The AWD Toyota bZ4X is EPA-rated for 222 miles on the Limited, and 228 miles with lower trims. 

Pricing starts at $43,215 before incentives, and tops out at $49,995 for the bZ4X Limited all-wheel drive. 

Here’s a summary of what the 2023 Toyota bZ4X offers:

  • Up to 200 miles of range added in one hour 
  • Peak 150 kilowatt (FWD) or 150 kilowatt (FWD) charging
  • 222 to 252 miles of range, depending on trim and motor configuration
  • Two different battery suppliers, depending on the trim selected
  • bZ4X pricing: $43,215 – $49,995
  • The bZ4X does qualify for the $7,500 EV federal tax credit

Subaru Solterra

Subaru Solterra 2023

I get why Subaru drivers love their cars. I’m a fan of the outdoorsy, all-terrain capable vehicles at an attainable price. Now that Subaru’s first electric vehicle has arrived, I’m heartbroken. It’s not a compelling EV, especially compared to the competition as a 2023 model. 

Toyota’s new electric platform paired with all-wheel drive and the Subaru badge will set you back at least $46,220, and the Solterra Touring’s MSRP is a lofty $53,220. Range isn’t anything to brag about. In fact, it just might cause range anxiety from day one. 

2023 Subaru Solterra

  • Price: $46,220 – $53,220
  • Range: 222 – 228 miles
  • Add up to 180 miles of range in one hour (peak 100 kilowatt charging)
  • 8.3 inches of ground clearance (best in class)
  • X-MODE electric traction control settings

Perhaps if you don’t travel too far off the beaten path, the 2023 Subaru Solterra could be right for you. But that defeats the purpose of having a Subaru, doesn’t it?

Here’s our full review of the Subaru Solterra.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volvo XC-40 Recharge

When it comes down to the specs, looks and driving experience, the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge is not a bad car. Many owners love its zippy performance and Scandinavian looks. What’s not to like? The price paired with the range. The XC40 Recharge is not an affordable EV. With a starting price of $51,700 and most trim options ending up around $60,000, this Volvo’s price approaches that of its competitor: the Tesla Model Y.

Here’s what to expect from the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge:

  • 223 miles of range
  • Up to 156 miles of range added in 37 minutes
  • Google operating system for infotainment
  • 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds
  • Qualifies for the federal EV tax credit

Jaguar I-PACE

Jaguar I-Pace EV

The I-PACE was one of the first electric vehicles to earn mainstream popularity in North America. When it arrived in 2018, range and charging capabilities were on-par with the best. What’s the problem then? Jaguar has not invested in powertrain upgrades for the I-PACE, and it has consequently fallen out of favor among EV buyers. 

The 2022 Jaguar I-PACE starts at an MSRP of $71,200, plus destination and fees. What do you get for such a lofty price, other than the Jaguar brand?

  • 234 miles of range
  • Add 187 miles of range (0 to 80%) in 45 minutes at a DC fast charger
  • 0 – 60 time of 4.5 seconds
  • Qualifies for the federal EV tax credit

Lucid Air

Lucid Air

Seasoned electric vehicle enthusiasts may be surprised to see the Lucid Air on this list of overpriced EVs, but hear me out. Although the newly-released 2022 Lucid Air starts at $78,900, you’d be hard pressed to find one in 2022 for under $150,000. Lucid’s design is sharp and sleek, and it’s certainly worthy of a luxury price tag. But if you want all the bells and whistles seen in Lucid’s commercials, brace yourself for sticker shock. The fully-loaded Lucid Air Dream Edition costs $169,900. 

Within the electric luxury sedan segment, the Lucid Air makes the Tesla Model S look like a bargain. Although the base ‘Air Pure’ starts at $77,400, the Air Pure won’t be available until late 2022 at the earliest. If you’re looking for luxury, a glass roof, and insane performance, the Tesla Model S offers that and more at $99,990. Even with the federal EV tax credit factored in, the Lucid Air Dream Edition costs over $50,000 more, and stepping down to the Lucid Air Grand Touring at $139,900 will still cost 30% more than the Tesla.

At least you get some impressive specs with the Lucid Air, but the competition offers more value and a longer track record of build quality and electric powertrain performance. Still, the Lucid Air is the range king of all electric cars for now. 

  • Price (for early 2022 availability): $139,900 – $169,900
  • Range: 406 to 520 miles on a charge
  • The fastest charging: adds up to 300 miles of range in 20 minutes
  • Luxury, but at significant cost

Here’s our full review of the Lucid Air.

Alternatives to Consider

At YAA, we’re all about solutions. If you’re on the market for one of these overpriced electric cars, here are some more compelling EVs to take for a test drive. 

Electric Crossovers

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

The 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Why? For less than $50,000, this retro-styled EV sports a roomy cabin, decent range, and ultra-fast charging powered by the new e-GMP platform’s 800-Volt engineering.

Price: $44,875 – $56,200

Range: 256 to 303 miles

Charge time: Adds 180 – 200 miles of range in 18 minutes (230 kW charge speeds)

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the IONIQ 5.

2022 Kia EV6

Kia EV6

Why? If you love the Hyundai IONIQ 5’s specs and pricing, but aren’t a fan of the looks, chances are the Kia EV6 will be right up your alley. This sporty electric crossover is also powered by the new e-GMP platform’s 800-Volt architecture for the fastest charging available.

Price: $40,900 – $55,900

Range: 274 to 310 miles

Charge time: Adds 190 – 210 miles of range in 18 minutes (230 kW charge speeds)

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the EV6.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Why? You’d be hard-pressed to find a dissatisfied Mustang Mach-E owner. This EV is on a much more sport-oriented suspension, with a family-friendly modern interior. 

Price: $43,895 – $61,995

Range: 224 to 314 miles

Charge time: Charging improvement incoming via over-the-air update, but for now, the Mustang Mach-E adds 59 miles of range in ten minutes, and charging from 10%-80% takes about 45 minutes.

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the Mustang Mach-E.

2022 Tesla Model Y

2022 Tesla Model Y

Why? This is still the best electric crossover on the market. Great efficiency, range and charging speeds paired with Tesla’s superior over-the-air update capabilities makes this EV the EV sales leader. If only it still qualified for the federal tax credit!

Price: $62,990 – $82,990

Range: 303 – 330 miles

Charge time: Add 200 miles of range in 15 minutes at over 1,200 Tesla Supercharger locations in North America.

Availability: Available now via Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales, or pre-owned on YAA Car Search.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? No, not unless the tax credit is revised by congress.

Learn more with our in-depth review of the Model Y.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4

Why? If you can find one at MSRP, the ID.4 is a solid choice for those opting for a more leisurely, less sporty EV. However, it has lost much of its appeal ever since the Hyundai and Kia electric crossovers hit the market with much faster charging.

Price: $41,230 – $52,500

Range: 249 – 260 miles

Charge time: Add up to 190 miles of range in 40 minutes

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the ID.4.

Electric Luxury Sedans

2022 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Why? Tesla’s first mass-produced model has matured into the gold standard among luxury EVs. It’s pricey, but sky-high resale value and frequent OTA updates make this Tesla a smart choice for those in the market for something larger than the more popular Model 3. 

Price: $99,990 – $156,990

Range: 348 – 405 miles

Charge time: Add up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes

Availability: Available now via Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales, or pre-owned on YAA Car Search.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? No, not unless the tax credit is revised by congress.

Learn more about the Model S.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

Mercedes EQS EV

Why? The first dedicated electric vehicle from Mercedes to make it to North America is something to behold. It doesn’t have the Tesla Supercharger network, but the interior is luxury on another level. 

Price: $102,310 – $108,510

Range: 350 miles

Charge time: Add up to 200 miles of range in 20 minutes

Availability: Available now. Check YAA Car Dealer Reviews to find the best dealers to work with.

Does it qualify for the federal EV tax credit? Yes!

Learn more with our in-depth review of the EQS.

Do you agree with this analysis, or did we miss the mark? Please, let us know in the comments below, or join us at the YAA Community to talk cars, deals and more. Our YAA auto experts are ready to take the headache out of your car buying experience. 

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The Need For (Charging) Speed: Is This the Charging Solution We’ve All Been Waiting For?

The Need For (Charging) Speed: Is This the Charging Solution We’ve All Been Waiting For?

My very own Hyundai IONIQ 5 has a special trick up its sleeve. In fact, even Tesla can’t claim it. In 2022, very few electric cars are engineered with 800-volt architecture. While still an outlier, all signs point towards an auto industry heading in the direction of faster charging, better efficiency, and smaller battery sizes – all of which are unlocked by promising 800-volt electrical systems in EVs. 

800-Volt Electric Powertrains Bring Faster Charging and Engineering Benefits

The mass adoption of electric vehicles largely depends on the ability to find real solutions for a few ownership challenges for today’s EV drivers:

  • Charging is too slow
  • Range is not enough
  • Batteries are too expensive to replace

Most electric vehicles in 2022 are built on 400-volt systems, but these systems have limits. Indeed, some automakers are quite happy with their 400-volt EV platforms. Tesla manages to find other ways of mastering efficiency and power delivery, and has not mentioned plans for a voltage upgrade. One BMW senior engineer called settling with a 400-volt platform the “best compromise”, but not everyone agrees.

800-volt systems can deliver double the power through the same current, or if desired, the same power through half the current. The result is roughly 50% faster charging for the same battery size. As a result, batteries can be made smaller and overall weight is reduced, increasing efficiency and ideally lowering the cost of the vehicle. 

Would a car need a massive battery with a 500-mile range if it can charge a smaller battery that’s good for 250 miles in just 15 minutes? What is that smaller battery was A LOT cheaper?

Which Electric Vehicles Use 800-Volt Architecture?

lucid air fast charging

In 2022, just a few electric vehicles use 800-volt systems for power delivery and charging.

Of particular interest is the different paths taken by Ford and GM for their upcoming electric trucks. The F-150 Lightning is built on 400-volt architecture, while the Chevrolet Silverado EV is jumping to 800-volt architecture, and the result is much faster charging speeds for the Chevy. Will this matter to consumers, or will brand loyalty win out? 

Why doesn’t Tesla use 800-volt charging? We’re not sure, but clearly they’ve found success with their existing 400-volt architecture. 

Solid-State Batteries Approach Production

solid state battery evs

Fortunately, a whole host of solutions are uniting to offer a better way forward for EVs. And it’s not all about charging speeds. Solid-state batteries are finally approaching real-world usability following decades of research and development. For the better part of the last decade, $100 per kilowatt-hour was the affordability target for battery development. That goal was reached, but the latest raw material shortages are sending prices back up, and electric car prices have gone up accordingly. The U.S. Department of Energy thinks that $60 per kilowatt-hour is within reach, however it’s increasingly looking like solid-state batteries may offer the only path to such low-cost batteries.

Toyota says it will be the first to bring a solid-state battery into a production vehicle. In typical Toyota fashion, their solid-state battery will debut in a hybrid powertrain rather than a full battery-electric vehicle. It looks like the world will see what solid-state battery chemistry is capable of in 2025.

Innovation Continues at Lightning Speed

Faster charging, better range, and (hopefully) lower prices are promised time and time again with every new EV model announcement. 800-volt architecture and solid-state batteries are the headlining developments that automakers are working on behind the scenes. We didn’t even touch on new battery chemistries, manufacturing methods, and electric motor breakthroughs in the works. We’ll have to save that for another day, as there’s always something new to talk about in the EV space.

But the promise of faster charging and energy-dense batteries begs the question: would you take faster charging over more range? It’s looking like that will be the EV debate of the decade. What are your thoughts? Let us know in a comment or over at the YAA Community Forum. What matters most when you head out on a journey?

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What Is Electrify America? The Charging Station For All

What Is Electrify America? The Charging Station For All

Electrify America Hyundai IONIQ5
The 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 charging at Electrify America

Some may think of electric vehicles as a concept of the future, but over 2 million EVs are already on American roads. By 2030, that figure may exceed 5 million. Where will all of these EVs juice up on road trips? Say hello to the gas station of the future. Charging stations are growing as more automakers commit to electrification

Among the key players in EV charging is Electrify America. With roots in the 2015 dieselgate debacle, Electrify America is out to show the masses that electric cars are accessible and convenient. Maybe you’ve even seen their glowing green stations in your local Walmart parking lot. Who knows, you might find yourself at an Electrify America station sooner than you think.

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Let’s cover the basics of Electrify America:

  • How much does Electrify America cost?
  • What is Electrify America’s pricing?
  • Where are Electrify America charging stations?
  • And so much more!

Let’s dive in.

What Is Electrify America?

Electrify America Ford Mustang Mach-E

Electrify America is the rebranded name for the initiative that Volkswagen created and funded as part of its 2016 settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. VW was caught red-handed cheating on emissions tests for millions of diesel cars sold in the US. Remember when everyone had to sell back their cool Golf TDI? VW hit rock bottom in 2015. As part of the $2 billion punishment, Volkswagen is prohibited from branding the charging network as a VW enterprise.

So here we have it, Electrify America! Storied past aside, EA is now a large and rapidly growing player in the world of electric vehicles. Despite initial skepticism, EA showed it was serious by following through on their initial goal of adding 2,000 DC fast chargers within a few years. An average of four EA stations were opened every week since the official debut of Electrify America in May of 2018. Now, EA is embarking on the next stage of growth. 

Who Can Charge at Electrify America Stations?

Harley EV charging
Yup, that’s an electric Harley-Davidson!

Good news! Any electric vehicle model can plug in at Electrify America charging stations. Even Teslas can charge here, despite having their own exclusive Supercharger network. Tesla may have a walled garden for its customers, but EA is open to all. EA stations include several CCS plug types, which work with nearly all EV models. The stations also have a CHAdeMO plug, which only the Nissan Leaf uses as of 2022. 

Plug-and-charge is a convenience feature popularized by Tesla, but now spreading among automakers. Considering Electrify America’s Volkswagen roots, you’d think plug-and-charge would be a given for VW electric cars. Not so, at least not yet. However, it looks like automakers are at fault here, not EA. The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E already offers plug-and-charge, saving time and hassles for owners. GM says it will soon, but not by the time Cadillac Lyriq deliveries begin this year. 

Charging Speeds

Electrify America charging

Electrify America charging stations are installed with future-proofing in mind. The vast majority of stations are capable of supplying the latest EVs with up to 350 kW charge speeds. In 2022, only a few EVs are capable of such rapid charging. The Hyundai IONIQ 5, Lucid Air and Porsche Taycan are a few examples. If your EV only accepts slower charging speeds, Electrify America certainly has the power you need to juice up.

How Much Does Charging At Electrify America Cost?

Some lucky EV drivers will have some amount of free charging at Electrify America. The Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Polestar 2 and even the Lucid Air all come with two or three years of complimentary charging at EA. 

Electrify America pricing is determined by the following price tiers. Customers can either pay $0.43 per kilowatt-hour of electricity, or become a Pass+ member for just $4/month and charge up at $0.31 per kWh. For the Ford Mustang Mach-E with the standard battery, a full charge will cost about $21.00 as a Pass+ member, but $30.00 as a guest.

Having such an affordable membership plan is an interesting approach. It almost seems like Electrify America is aiming to become a subscription that everyone with an EV will buy into for a sense of range security, even if they rarely use the network. Learn more about Electrify America pricing and how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle at home or on the road here

Where Are Electrify America Stations Located?

After an extremely fast build-out, EA now has chargers in 47 states. Only North Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia have yet to receive EA chargers. Some states have many chargers. Metro areas like Washington DC, Atlanta, New York City, and of course all of California have a high density of EA charging stations. 

A large number of EA stations are located in Walmart parking lots. Others are at Target stores, shopping malls, gas stations, and other frequented stops. With the new federal push for a national EV charging network, highway rest areas may soon get their own charging stations.

As of early 2022, Electrify America has 710 charging stations active in the US. Over 100 more are on the way soon. Three-quarters of existing charging ports are of the CCS type. The remainder are CHAdeMO-type plugs, almost exclusively for the Nissan Leaf. The rest of the EV world has moved on from CHAdeMO. 

Here are all of the Electrify America charging locations as of early 2022. Future stations are in gray.

Electrify America in 2022

Source: Electrify America

The 2025 Boost Plan: 1,800 Stations and 10,000 Chargers By 2025

Electrify America charging
Electrify America’s 2025 Boost Plan

Electrify America’s original goal was to have about 800 charging stations and approximately 3,500 individual chargers in the U.S. by the end of 2021. As you can see above, they clearly exceeded that ambitious goal. Now, EA is looking ahead to their 2025 Boost Plan. The new plan calls for increasing the total number of charging stations to more than 1,700 and 9,500 individual chargers by the end of 2025. Soon, all 50 states will be home to EA charging stations. For me in West Virginia, that can’t come soon enough. It’s a charging desert out here in the hills.

Tesla Superchargers

The Tesla Supercharger Network in 2022
The Tesla Supercharger Network in 2022

With so much competition arriving in the electric vehicle segment, buyers have far more options than they did just a few years prior. Back in 2018, it was Tesla, the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf that were selling in big numbers. Now look at the list of every EV on sale in 2022. Consumers have options! And by the time Electrify America’s 2025 Boost Plan is carried out, EV sales are expected to make up at least 12% of total vehicle sales. 

Still, Tesla continues to lead electric sales by a large margin. Tesla drivers can charge at Electrify America stations if they bring their own plug adapter. Unfortunately, only Tesla cars can plug in at the sprawling Tesla Supercharger network. Tesla’s proprietary network of exclusive chargers just reached a major milestone. As of late 2021, there are 30,000 charging stalls at over 5,000 locations worldwide. One-sixth of those charging stations were built in the latter half of 2021 alone. In the US, there are nearly 1,000 Supercharger locations, a figure that is rapidly growing.

Tesla also has a level 2 Destination Network at tourist destinations, hotels, restaurants and other destinations. Soon, there will even be a Megacharger Network to support the coming Tesla Semi. Rumors abound that Tesla will open up the Supercharger network to non-Tesla cars, as they have already tried in select European countries. Until that officially happens in the US, Superchargers remain off limits to Ford, GM, Hyundai and every other automaker’s EVs.

Tesla Superchargers are not free. In fact, charging will cost $0.28 per kilowatt-hour of electricity in most markets. Learn more about how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle in our recent report

How Does Electrify America Compare to Tesla or a Gas Station?

Clearly, electricity is cheaper than gasoline, no matter where you plug in:

Cost of Charging to 100% at a Tesla SuperchargerCost of Charging to 100% at Electrify America as a MemberCost of Charging to 100% at Electrify America as a GuestCost of Filling up an 18 Gallon Tank of Gas at $3.25/Gallon
$22.96$25.42$35.26$58.50

YAA’s Take

ev charging station

The automotive industry is commiting to EVs. With nearly half a trillion dollars committed to EV development this decade, is this a ‘too big to fail’ moment? However, what good are EVs if there’s nowhere to charge them? Actually, over 80% of electric vehicle charging happens at home. Still, road trips would be dead if automakers electrify without having public fast chargers as widespread as today’s gas stations. 

Aside from the Tesla Supercharger network, Electrify America is the best shot we have at rapidly building out a DC fast charging network across America. Automakers, utilities and even the federal government are currently figuring out how to grow charging infrastructure in America. The recent National EV Charging Summit highlighted those efforts, and also the immense challenges ahead. Electrify America’s 2025 Boost Plan offers a glimpse of the electric future to come along American highways. 

What do you think? Will Electrify America and the growing Tesla Supercharger network be enough for EVs to comfortably reach the forecasted 30-40% market share in 2030?

The Barrier-Breaking 2022 Lucid Air Is the New Luxury Standard

The Barrier-Breaking 2022 Lucid Air Is the New Luxury Standard

2022 Lucid Air

For years, electric vehicle skeptics have had three big demands that would be needed to win them over: range like a traditional vehicle, faster charging, and affordability. With the arrival of the ultra-luxury Lucid Air, the emerging EV-only automaker has achieved two of these three goals. One could argue that luxury vehicle consumers fall into one of two categories: those who prefer classic, traditional luxury, and those who like to experience the latest and greatest in technology and powertrain integration. The 2022 Lucid Air without a doubt falls into the latter category. Here’s our YAA first look at the electric newcomer moving the goal posts in the battery-powered range wars. 

The 2022 Lucid Air Has Tesla Roots

2022 Lucid Air

When engineer Peter Rawlinson left Tesla in 2012, the automaker now synonymous with EVs was just getting started. The early success of Tesla was in part due to the efforts of Rawlinson, who served as Vehicle Engineer for the development of the Model S, the first Tesla model to make it mainstream. Citing the need to care for his ailing mother, and a boss that wasn’t treating him too well (as he puts it), Rawlinson left the company just as Model S sales were ramping up. 

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But he would soon return to the automotive startup scene, this time as Chief Technical Officer of Lucid Motors in 2013. By 2019, he was CEO. His tenure at Lucid has seen the flagship model, dubbed the Air, make it from sketches and prototypes to the first customer deliveries in late 2021. Now that the 2022 Lucid Air is in production at the new AMP-1 site in Casa Grande, Arizona, drivers and engineers are marveling at the innovation and specs.

The 2022 Lucid Air: The New Range King

2022 Lucid Air

When Lucid announced the 2022 Lucid Air would have a range of up to 520 miles on a single charge, not everyone believed it was possible. Now that at least one independent range test squeezed 500.1 miles out of a single charge going 70 mph on the highway, the range wars are heating up.

No other automaker can claim a 500-mile EPA rating as of early 2022. Tesla’s Model S comes closest at 405 miles of rated range. The all-new Mercedes EQS luxury EV is rated for 350 miles of range, however Edmunds drove the EQS a full 422 miles in their test loop. For now, the Lucid Air reigns supreme. 

The Air’s exceptional range is made possible by a drag coefficient of 0.21 (lower than even Tesla models) and a very large 118 kWh battery pack. That massive battery is responsible for a large portion of the 5,200 pound weight of the Air. That’s heavier than a Ford F-150

Raising the Bar: 406-520 Miles

2022 Lucid Air

Not all trims of the Air are rated over 500 miles. The ‘base’ trim (if you could really call it that) is estimated to be rated for 406 miles. That’s just one mile over the Tesla Model S long-range. If that’s not a shot at Tesla, I don’t know what is.

The debut Lucid Air Dream Edition is rated for 471 – 520 miles of range. With enough power for a 2.5 second 0-60 time, bested only by the Tesla Model S Plaid in the EV segment. Actually, very few cars period can claim such reality-warping acceleration. Unfortunately, the Air Dream Edition is no longer officially open for reservations. If you’re in the market for a state-of-the-art $169,000 luxury EV with supreme performance, Lucid says you can join the waitlist. 

The next best thing is the Air Grand Touring, which now lists for $139,000. Clearly, Lucid Air pricing is unabashedly premium. The Air doesn’t flirt with the more economical price points that even Tesla wades into in the sub-$50,000 range. At least with the Lucid Air’s pricing, the target market segment is as clear as its panoramic roof. Here’s the full breakdown of trim levels for the 2022 Lucid Air.

Powerful Performance 

2022 Lucid Air

Not only is the 2022 Lucid Air the longest-range EV on the market, it’s also one of the most powerful in the world with up to 1,111 horsepower and 1,390 lb-ft of torque in the Air Dream Edition. The less extravagant (and a bit less expensive) Air Pure still cranks out 480 horsepower from a single rear-wheel drive motor.

Behind the Air’s snappy performance is a compact yet innovative electric motor. Lucid’s team thought outside of the box, the electric motor box that is. They engineered the motor for better thermal management (essential in EVs) and triple the power density of competitors.

The Air’s electric powertrain was designed and developed in-house. The Air’s 900-volt electrical system is bidirectional. That means the Air can power household electronics and can even lend a “jump charge” to other EVs. The Air is capable of 19.2 kW of level-2 home charging, far higher than the competition. Most EV charging is done at home, so this is an overlooked feat of the Lucid Air’s engineering.  At DC fast chargers, the Air can accept 300kW (or more) with the Air’s 800 volt architecture. More on that below.

Superior Fast-Charging

2022 Lucid Air

Gone are the days of EVs taking an hour of charging to make it the next 200 miles. Unless you buy a Chevrolet Bolt (please don’t buy a Chevy Bolt). Most 2022 model year electric vehicles can gain over 200 miles of range in about 30-40 minutes at a fast-charger.

The Lucid Air goes above and beyond. In just 20 minutes, the Air can add 300 miles of range at a DC fast charger like those at Electrify America stations. Plus, the Air comes with three years of free charging at Electrify America. The Air can accept up to 300 kW speeds at 800 volts. That’s the best in the market for now, and is surely a feat of battery thermal-management engineering. Tom Moloughney of InsideEVs confirmed these spectacular charging specs. 

Lucid Air Pricing

The 2022 Lucid Air starts at $77,400, but most buyers will likely opt for the Touring and Grand Touring trims, which easily exceed well beyond $100,000. 

TrimPriceRangeHorsepowerDrivetrain
Air Pure$77,400406 mi480 HPRWD
Air Touring$95,000406 mi620 HPAWD
Grand Touring$139,000516 mi800 HPAWD
Dream Edition*$169,000520 mi1,111 HPAWD

*The Dream Edition is not currently available for ordering.

Interior and Tech: 5K screens, OTA Updates and All You Could Ask For

Stepping into the Lucid Air is perhaps the most science fiction-turned-reality experience you can buy. The unreal clarity of the ‘glass cockpit’ display is made possible by a 34-inch, 5K floating screen that sweeps around the driver, curving like the cockpit of a jet. It puts essential information into the driver’s sightline, with vehicle controls to the left, driving details in the center, and navigation and media to the right. An optional solid glass roof spans the entire cabin almost without interruption. It’s a more surreal view than even the Tesla glass roofs, except for maybe the Model X.

Lucid Motors has equipped all Air trims with Lucid DreamDrive, an advanced driver-assistance system. Lucid Motors claims that DreamDrive is the only driver assistance technology with the combination of an advanced sensor suite, high-resolution LIDAR, a driver monitoring system, and a fully redundant platform. Surreal Sound, Lucid Air’s immersive audio system, is powered by 21 speakers with Dolby Atmos technology, a first for autos.

Interior Space

On Lucid’s website, they boldly state “Cabin? More like mansion.” While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, an abundance of space welcomes drivers and passengers alike. About 98 cubic feet of passenger space is plenty big for a sedan. Seats, dash trims, and most other materials are sustainably sourced yet undeniably premium, as they should be for the price. Massaging seats are an option, but it’s kind of ridiculous that they’re not included with the $80,000+ car. The rear cabin fits three adults with segment-leading amounts of legroom. An optional Executive Rear Seating Package offers reclining rear seats. You know, private jet style. An optional Executive Rear Seating Package (with later availability) will offer a jet-style experience for two that lets you recline way back.

Plenty of Storage

First of all, the Lucid Air’s frunk, or front trunk, is the largest of any electric car at 10 cubic feet. The actual trunk is decently-sized at 16.2 cubic feet. However, it has some tricks up its sleeve. The trunk opens up to the rear cabin, making it possible to fit large items that normally a luxury sedan can’t handle. 

Over-the-Air Updates

The 2022 Lucid Air receives over-the-air updates through its secure and high-speed Ethernet-Ring data network. Lucid plans to have full OTA functionality, meaning that updates to vehicle performance will be possible. So far, only Tesla has repeatedly and successfully upgraded vehicle range and performance for existing customers. Many legacy OEMs can update infotainment via OTA updates, but some still require a service center visit. 

How Does the 2022 Lucid Air Compare?

2022 Tesla Model S

We’ve already established that the Air is the ultimate highway warrior with EPA rated range of up to 520 miles. But how does the Lucid Air stack up to the competition? Is the Lucid Air better than a Tesla? We’ll let the specs speak for themselves. This vehicle is still so new to the market that it’s too early to draw conclusions with regards to reliability, but here’s how performance and price measure up to Tesla, Mercedes, and other luxury electric vehicles. 

PriceRangeHorsepowerCharging*Cargo Volume
Air Pure$77,400406 mi480 HP300 mi/20 mins26 cubic feet
Air Touring$95,000406 mi620 HP300 mi/20 mins26 cubic feet
Air Grand Touring$139,000516 mi800 HP300 mi/20 mins26 cubic feet
Air Dream Edition$169,000520 mi1,111 HP300 mi/20 mins26 cubic feet
Tesla Model S $94,990405 mi670 HP200 mi/15 mins25 cubic feet
Tesla Model S Plaid$129,990396 mi1,020 HP200 mi/15 mins25 cubic feet
Mercedes EQS 580$119,110340 mi516 HP300 mi/31 mins25 cubic feet
Porsche Taycan$187,600260 mi751 HP195 mi/23 mins14 cubic feet
* Charging estimates are provided by automakers as select examples of capability. Hence, the differences seen here in charge time.

With the Lucid Air pricing exceeding that of the popular and proven Tesla Model S, it’s a relief that so much range, luxury and performance is included. The only fault we see here is reliability. It’s simply too early to know how the Air will fare over time. The fact that Lucid has Tesla roots provides some comfort for the wary car buyer. Despite frequent fit and finish blunders and the occasional abysmal rating, Tesla actually has a solid reliability record when it comes to battery and powertrain performance over time and mileage.

How Can I Buy a Lucid Air?

If you’re sold on the 2022 Lucid Air, you can make a refundable deposit at Lucid’s website. The reservation deposit is $300 for the base Air Pure, and $1,000 for higher trims. As of early 2022, all except the debut Dream Edition are available for order. 

YAA’s Take

The 2022 Lucid Air is the premier luxury electric vehicle for the time being. It may not have Tesla’s Supercharger network, but it has superior range, infotainment and luxury qualities. This is Lucid’s first powertrain, so time will tell if reliability and longevity are just as impressive. 

Despite its strengths, this EV is still a niche product. The price alone will likely limit the popularity of this magnificent luxury EV. With Lucid Air pricing starting at $77,400, at least you know you’ll get your money’s worth. Is it the best luxury EV on the market today? It’s too soon to tell. Hopefully, YAA will get behind the wheel of the Air soon. 

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Is This the Beginning of the End for Car Dealerships?

Is This the Beginning of the End for Car Dealerships?

When my dad and I founded YAA in 2019 we knew that the way people bought cars was inevitably going to change. Our best guess was that the hassle of negotiating a car deal would stick around for another 20, maybe 30 years. We hoped that by then the price of a car would simply be the price of a car, and the “grind it out” nature of trying to buy an auto at a fair price would be long forgotten.

Well, I think we may have been wrong.

Over the past week, two memos have been leaked from major domestic automakers. One from Ford, and another from GM (screenshots below). Both of the letters are directed towards their dealer bodies, and they each make it clear: stop screwing around with customers and tarnishing our brand.

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Could the beginning of the end of car dealerships be happening right before our eyes? I think the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Why car dealerships exist

Before we unpack the memos from Ford and GM, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Why do car dealerships even exist?

Reports vary, but the first car dealership was opened in either 1897 or 1898. Automakers of this era leveraged a variety of sales channels to sell their initial vehicles, dealer partners being one of them. These partners were exactly that; partners. Dealers were not owned and operated by the automaker, instead they were independent third party businesses that agreed to abide by rules and regulations put in place by the automaker.

Automakers loved this model. It was (and still is) highly profitable for them. They loved it so much that they lobbied state-by-state to pass “franchise dealer” laws that make it illegal for a vehicle manufacturer to sell directly to a consumer, instead they have to sell through a franchised dealer.

Traditional automakers are great at designing, manufacturing, and distributing their product. They are not interested in day-to-day customer engagement, setting up service appointments, or doing anything beyond building and selling cars to their dealers.

Automakers get paid when they wholesale a vehicle to their dealer partner. Then the dealer has to (no pun intended), deal with the end user. In this way, legacy automakers have been able to separate themselves from the expensive practices of customer engagement and instead pass that along to their dealer partners.

Why do car dealerships exist? Because automakers have been able to generate massive profits from this system. However, after 100+ years, it appears another model may potentially be even more valuable for them.

Sell directly to customers

Tesla notoriously refused to sell their cars through dealer partners. Instead, the upstart EV automaker insisted on having their customers purchase directly from them. This is illegal in many states, however after lobbying for many years, most states now have “carve out” laws that allow EV manufacturers to sell directly to consumers.

Here’s example of that “carve out” language in Connecticut:

Would allow a manufacturer to receive a dealer’s license if it does not have a franchise agreement with a new-car dealer in the state, if it builds only electric vehicles and only sells the vehicles it builds, and if it does not have a controlling ownership link to a manufacturer licensed as a dealer in the state.

Nowadays EV automakers can sell direct to consumer in many states via the internet, and they are just starting to prove how lucrative this business model can be. Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid are shining examples of how valuable direct to consumer sales models can be. Tesla is a $1T+ company, and Rivian, even though they’ve only sold a few hundred vehicles is valued at north of $100B. Ford, GM, and other legacy automakers want to catch up. For perspective, Toyota, the highest valued traditional automaker, is “only” worth $330B.

market cap per car sold

The Ford and GM memos

Within the past week both Ford and GM have sent memos to their dealers that say the exact same thing: don’t tarnish our brand, treat customers well, or lose allocation of inventory from us. These leaked memos represent the first attempt Ford and GM are taking to “stand up” to their dealers.

GM letter to dealers
The memo from GM President Steve Carlisle
ford f-150 lightning memo to dealers
The memo from Ford to their dealers

Both memos reference the dealership’s franchise agreement, and both make it clear that if the dealership does not treat customers in a way that enhances their brand, they will take away allocation of inventory.

Sure, these memos represent the first time we’ve seen automakers stand up to their dealers, and for that reason, we’re excited to see them, however the issue is, if GM or Ford actually tries to enforce their own rules they’ll certainly get taken to court. Why? Because nearly every Ford and GM dealership in the United States breaks their rules, so if they begin to selectively enforce the rules, you can be certain some dealer groups will fight back.

What happens next

While the franchise dealership model has served automakers well for 100+ years, it’s clear as day that a transition away from that model is upon us. This transition won’t happen overnight, and we shouldn’t expect dealerships to simply vanish. Dealerships play a vital role in society, especially when it comes to vehicle repairs and maintenance, however it appears clear that Ford, GM, and many other automakers want to catch up to Tesla’s valuation, and one of the ways they’ll do that is by taking more control of the sales process.

Dealerships aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but the shift away from the dealer model is happening 20 years earlier than we had imagined. It will be interesting to see how this market evolves, especially as Tesla and other EV startups continue to get praise.