We have seen many automakers benchmark and reverse-engineer Tesla vehicles, but rarely the other way around. Tesla was spotted testing a Lucid Air – which has over 500 miles of range – on its test track at Fremont factory.

Lucid and Tesla have a long, tumultuous history.

The company was founded by Bernard Tse, a former Tesla Vice President and board member. At the time, it was called Atieva, and it was focused on building electric powertrains for other companies. It later became Lucid Motors and transitioned to building its own vehicles starting with a luxury sedan called the Lucid Air. In order to help achieve that, Lucid hired Peter Rawlinson, Tesla VP and Model S Chief Engineer, back in 2016.

Rawlinson later became CEO of the company and delivered the Lucid Air last year to great reviews. It became the first all-electric vehicle with over 500 miles of range.

But Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who often welcomes new EVs on the market, hasn’t been impressed by the company based on previous comments. He tried to diminish Rawlinson’s contribution to the Model S program ,and he said that a 500-mile range is not actually useful.

Earlier this year, Musk said that Tesla could have made a 600-mile-range electric car a year ago, before Lucid, but it “would’ve made the product worse” in his opinion.

While talking poorly about Lucid, Musk seems to have taken the startup as competition when he lowered the price of the Model S back in 2020, after Lucid announced the base price of the Air.

Now almost two years later, Lucid is slowly ramping up deliveries of its electric sedan, and apparently, Tesla is getting curious. A drone flyover of Tesla’s Fremont factory yesterday spotted what appears to be a Lucid Air being driven on the automaker’s test track:

Tesla was seen doing a few laps and launches from a standstill with the electric sedan.

It’s not rare for automakers to benchmark new vehicles on the market. As we previously reported, Tesla vehicles are very popular amongst automakers ramping up their electrification efforts.

Just last week, GM was spotted benchmarking a Tesla Model S Plaid and a Model 3 at its facilities in Michigan. However, Tesla has rarely been seen playing with electric vehicles from other automakers.

There are a few technologies that could be of interest to Tesla in the Lucid Air. While it’s true that Tesla could have made a Model S with over 500 miles of range, Lucid did achieve an impressive efficiency in the Air, and the size of its electric drivetrain is especially impressive.

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Fred Lambert

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