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Lucid Air Is The Most Efficient Vehicle On Sale In 2023

Two Lucid Air models claim the top spot in the EPA's newly published fuel efficiency guide.

Two Lucid Air models claim the top spot in the EPA's newly published fuel efficiency guide, edging out competition from Tesla as well as German and Korean legacy brands.

The Lucid Air Pure AWD and Lucid Air Touring AWD, both riding on the more efficient 19" wheels, were given a fuel economy estimate of 140 MPGe in the 2023 guide. Lucid also sells 20" and 21" wheels for drivers willing to forgo a little range for style.

Image of a light blue Lucid Air Pure seen from the side with 5-spoke 19" wheels.The Air Pure is Lucid's entry level vehicle available with rear- or all-wheel drive.

How The EPA Calculates Fuel Economy
To avoid skewing results with changeable weather and traffic patterns all of the EPA's fuel economy testing is done under laboratory conditions. The ranking system is based on a combined city and highway testing cycle featuring 55% city conditions and 45% highway.

Electric vehicles receive a "MPGe" rating which denotes how far an EV can travel on the electrical energy equivalent to one gallon of gasoline. One gallon of gas contains the equivalent of 33.7 kWh of electricity.

The EPA also provides one-year fueling cost estimates for each vehicle.

"The estimates are based on the assumptions that you travel 15,000 miles per year (55% under city driving conditions and 45% under highway conditions) and that fuel costs $3.42/gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, $3.88/gallon for mid-grade unleaded gasoline, and $4.19/gallon for premium."

Vehicles are grouped by segment, with the Lucid Air landing in the large sedan category thanks to its passenger and cargo volume being over 120 cubic feet.

Image of the Lucid Air's front seats, dash and steering wheel showing its large windshield which turns seamlessly into the car's roof.Comparisons
As mentioned above, the Lucid Air topped the efficiency table with the highest score of 140 MPGe. The EPA estimates annual fueling costs across the Air range at $500-$650 and gives it a rating of 10 (best) on its 1-10 greenhouse gas rating metric.

Closest to the Lucid was the Tesla Model 3 RWD with 132 MPGe followed by the Model Y AWD with 123 MPGe. The Hyundai Kona Electric, Chevrolet Bolt and Kia EV6 RWD scored 120, 120 and 117 respectively. The Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 4Matic but up a 103 MPGe combined figure.

In categories where an EV took the top spot for efficiency the EPA also included the most efficient conventionally fuelled vehicles, and the results are telling of the increased efficiency brought by the EV revolution. The Air's nearest ICE vehicle in large sedan was the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue with a combined rating of 52 MPG.

The same was true for pickup trucks, with the Rivian R1T on 21" wheels putting up 73 MPGe to the Chevrolet Silverado Diesel 2WD's 26 MPG.

Related Story: Lucid Names AT&T As Exclusive Connectivity Provider

Images by Lucid Motors licensed by CC BY 4.0.

James Walker is an Automotive Journalist at Torque News focusing on Lucid Motors. If it's got wheels he's interested, and he's looking forward to seeing what kind of cars the EV revolution brings us. Whether it's fast, slow, new, or old, James wants to have a look around it and share it in print and on video, ideally with some twisty roads involved. You can connect with James on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.