In the world of performance cars, luxury cars and cabin technology, it always seems like European brands are leading the industry, specifically the Germans. Jump in almost any other brand’s car after driving a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche or even Volkswagen and it will feel like a downgrade in several ways. It might be ergonomics, tech, luxury or performance but there’s always an advantage German brands seem to have. However, when it comes to electric vehicles and battery technology, it seems that the Americans have all the answers.
Let’s take a look at the BMW iX, the brand’s upcoming electric crossover that’s supposed to be the best BMW can do. Its max range, from what we understand, is about 600 km (376 miles). That’s very good, though it is rated on the forgiving WLTP-cycle. So there’s a likelihood that its real-life range drops to around 350 miles or less. While that’s still very good, it’s best BMW can do…
Tesla, for all of its issues and reasons to criticize (of which there are many), has been ahead of that battery range for years now. In fact, middle-of-the-range Teslas can reach 350-ish miles of range, while delivering more power and luxury.
How about another upcoming German car, one that’s also supposed to be a flagship for its brand — the Audi RS e-tron GT. The e-tron GT is Audi’s version of the Porsche Taycan and it packs a massive 93 kWh battery pack. Despite that, it only has a range of about 250 miles. Admittedly, it’s a high-performance sedan with gobs of power (600 horsepower), so it’s going to chew through its range quickly.
However, there’s another upcoming high-performance EV sedan that has even more power and even more range from a similarly-sized battery pack. The Lucid Air Dream Edition packs 1080 horsepower and 517 miles of range, from its 113 kWh battery pack. Yes, that’s a much bigger battery than all of the Germans but if you look at its battery efficiency of 4.58 mi/kWh, it leads the entire industry.
Both Tesla and Lucid are going to be in a battle for the best American EV brand and, ultimately, the best EV brand in the world. The Mercedes-Benz EQC, Audi e-tron, Porsche Taycan, Volkswagen ID.4 all have far less battery efficiency, lower ranges, lower power figures and inferior performance to the aforementioned American brands’ cars.
American car companies get a lot wrong, but it seems that America is leading the way in battery tech. As an American, it’s nice to finally see my home country leading the way in some form, in the auto industry, but there’s no homerism, here. Tesla, and especially now Lucid, are the two brands that will lead the charge for electric and battery technology moving forward.