Industry Updates

Lucid and Tesla Drop Prices for Large EV Sedans

Laurance Yap
August 22, 2023
Tesla and Lucid have both dropped the starting MSRPs for their flagship large sedans. The new Tesla Model S Standard Range and Lucid Air Pure offer all-wheel drive, impressive range, and the latest tech at lower prices than before, though neither is eligible for the $7,500 federal rebate.
Tesla Model S driving into a tunnel

Big EV Sedans, Big Price Drops

Tesla and Lucid, two U.S.-based EV manufacturers, have both announced significant price drops for their large electric cars. The recent moves by both brands lower starting MSRPs for their high-end sedan models, though neither qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax incentive for purchases (lease them instead). The starting MSRP for the Tesla Model S is now $80,130, while the Lucid Air now has a starting MSRP of $83,900.

Blue Tesla Model S

New Tesla Model S Standard Range

Unlike previous Tesla price drops, which simply reduced the MSRP for existing models, the new entry price for the Tesla Model S is for a new Standard Range model, which makes it the cheapest Model S by about $10,000. The new Model S Standard Range, as it’s called, has a battery pack that delivers a claimed 320 miles of range* – versus 405 miles for the previous entry-level model, which is now just called the Model S.

While it has less range, the Model S Standard Range still comes with two motors and all-wheel drive, meaning it will still be as secure and confident to drive in poor weather conditions. You also get a little bit less performance: 0-60 is claimed to take 3.7 seconds in the new Model S Standard range, compared to 3.1 seconds for the Model S. Top speed remains the same at 149 mph.

The new Standard Range is a much more capable car than previous entry-level versions of the Model S. When the car was first introduced in 2012, the Model S started with a 60-kWh battery pack and a claimed 230 miles of range, with only a single motor and rear-wheel drive. But like that car, the new Standard Range comes with 19-inch wheels and is very well-equipped. Its interior got a major upgrade in 2021 with a large, horizontal-format touch screen, twin phone charging pads, and more. A steering “yoke” is now available as a $250 option instead of standard equipment.

Interestingly, Tesla did not announce actual battery capacity or horsepower figures for the new Model S Standard Range. Some online outlets are speculating that the Standard Range model actually uses the same battery as the “regular” Model S, and that Tesla might allow owners to unlock additional battery capacity and performance with an extra-cost software upgrade. The company has done this before with other Standard Range models in its lineup.

Lucid Air side profile

Lucid Air: Price Drops Across the Board

Over at Lucid, whose cars are designed in California and built in Arizona, price drops have been applied across the entire lineup. The sleek Lucid Air sedan is available in a wide variety of versions, with the entry point now being the Lucid Air Pure. Like the Model S Standard Range, the Air Pure offers two motors and standard all-wheel drive. The $83,900 (starting MSRP) four-door sedan is over $5,000 cheaper than before, and offers significantly more range than the cheapest big Tesla – the EPA rates the Air Pure at 410 miles with the standard 19-inch wheels, or 384 miles on the larger 20-inch wheels.

We really like the sleek, aerodynamic design of the Air, and its spectacular, high-quality interior, which is a real step up from the more basic cabin of the Model S. Lucid’s driver-assistance systems are also state-of-the-art, and the new brand’s sales are growing quickly – though volumes are still much lower than Tesla’s.

Other Lucid Air models have also been treated to reduced prices. The next level up, the Air Touring, now has a starting MSRP of $96,500 – which not only brings a longer 425-mile EPA-estimated range from a 92-kWh battery, but also an upgrade to 620 hp. The flagship Air Grand Touring, which has a staggering 1,050 hp and 516 miles of EPA-rated range thanks to its 112-kWh battery, now has a starting MSRP of $127,100. Both models' prices have dropped by over $12,000. Lucid also announced that in September, the Lucid Air Pure Single Motor will become available, reducing the cost of entry to the lineup to $78,900 starting MSRP.

Lucid Air front view parked by city skyline

More EV Price Competition: Good for Consumers

With post-pandemic supply chain constraints easing and resultant inventories increasing across the country, new cars are becoming easier to get. Shoppers no longer need to expect long wait times or exorbitant pricing to get the vehicles they want. That’s particularly true for new electric cars, whose sales aren’t ramping back up as quickly as gasoline models.

EV-only brands like Tesla and Lucid are under pressure from their shareholders to deliver more vehicles – and they quite rightly think that more-accessible pricing should help drive increased sales volumes. If you’ve been considering making the switch to an EV, now may very well be the time to buy.

*All mileage is EPA estimated

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