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Efficiency Comparison: Tesla Model S vs. Lucid Air

In a video by Motor Matchup, the efficiency of a Tesla is compared with the efficiency of a Lucid. The vehicles used are the Lucid Air Dream Edition and the Tesla Model S Plaid, and the video goes over where the two vehicles do well and where they do not so well. Motor Matchup also threw the Rivian R1T as an additional reference point for comparison in the first section.

Some of the components looked at by Motor Matchup were air resistance, rolling resistance, and even a detailed look at a few documents by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to see exactly how efficient both vehicles are supposed to be. The first thing the video dives into is road load, which are all of the negative forces that have an impact on the vehicle while it’s being driven. The components are rolling resistance and air resistance. The EPA document mentioned is a road load coefficient that is published for every vehicle.

The host pointed out that these are the most accurate data available for vehicle characteristics. The reason for that is if these values are proven to be incorrect, manufacturers could face some serious fines.

The video starts with the road load of the Tesla Model S using an equation F(v)=A+Bv+Cv^2. The ABC represent the three different coefficient values Tesla provided to the EPA. F represents force at a certain speed and v represents a combination of velocity and miles per hour.

Using the data from the EPA and the above equation, the video shows that Tesla’s road load for the Model S is 102.62 pounds of force.

Road Load Comparison Between Lucid Air Dream Edition & Tesla Model S Plaid

The two vehicles used in the comparison are the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Lucid Air Dream Edition. Both vehicles have 19-inch wheels. For an additional reference point, the host also included data for the Rivian R1T.

  • Tesla Model S Plaid: 103 pounds of force at 60 miles per hour
  • Lucid Air Dream Edition: 84 pounds of force at 60 miles per hour
  • Rivian R1T: 159 pounds of force at 60 miles per hour

Following the road load calculations, the video compares power consumption versus speed for both vehicles using the equation Power =Force x Velocity while using the conversion rate of one meter per second = 2.237 mph and 1 pound = 4.448 Newtons on earth. This gives another simple equation — power in watts is equal to 4.448F*V/2.237.

Once the pound-force values were converted to power values, the video shows just how many kilowatts per hour each vehicle needs in order to overcome the road load at 60 miles per hour.

  • Rivian R1T: 19.0 kW
  • Tesla Model S Plaid 12.2 kW
  • Lucid Air Dream: 10.0 kW

The power usage can also be used to show the efficiency value of speed versus consumption. The host converted power to watt-hours per mile:

  • Rivian R1T: 317 Wh/mile
  • Tesla Model S Plaid: 203 Wh/mile
  • Lucid Air Dream: 67 Wh/mile

The host pointed out that it should be noted that these values are based on the forces acting on each vehicle and not the efficiencies each vehicle is putting down to the ground. To calculate the exact range and efficiency of the car, one would need to take into account actual power and drivetrain losses when converting battery power to power that’s going to the ground. He noted that these values reflect an assumption of 100% battery-to-wheel power efficiency.

Calculation of Forces — Tesla vs. Lucid

The next part of the video comparison shows the calculation forces of the Tesla Model S Plaid and Lucid Air Dream Edition. Using the air resistance, rolling resistance, and power equations along with the specs of the vehicles — such as the curb weight, coefficient of drag, and coefficient of rolling resistance — he describes in detail in the video how he uses these calculations to come up with the values and calculations for each vehicle.

Tesla Model S Plaid

For the Tesla Model S Plaid, he calculated that the power consumption needed at a steady 60 miles per hour was 12.295 kW which was really close to the EPA’s calculated power of 12.2 kW. He also calculated the range of the vehicle with the same values. If you were to drive the vehicle at a steady 60 miles per hour for just over 8 hours, this gives a range of 487 miles assuming 100% power efficiency. The EPA rating for the Plaid with 19-inch wheels is 396 miles.

Lucid Air Dream Edition

For the Lucid, power consumption at a steady 60 miles per hour requires 12.46 kW to overcome forces at 60 miles per hour. This is a bit higher than the EPA’s calculated power, which is 10.0 kW, so the host wanted to figure out why that is.

An important component of the efficiency equation, he emphasized, is the rolling resistance of the tires.

“Even though the wheel sizes are the same, the tires are actually pretty different. The Model S has Pirelli P-Zero with 255/45s on the front and 285/35s on the rear. That first number — 255, 285 — is the actual width of the tire in millimeters.

“On the Lucid, it has 245/45s all around, and so you’re actually seeing 40 millimeters less of width on the rear tire and 10 millimeters less width on the front tire. Also, I’m not 100% sure on this, but I do believe the Pirelli compound on the Lucid is different from the compound on the Tesla. I think the Lucid is using some low-resistance all-season tire. That’s less sticky and has less resistance than the Tesla.”

The video also covers a tire comparison between the two vehicles, a new Lucid forces calculation, and a battery comparison. You can watch the full video here.

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Written By

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok


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