Tesla’s Standard Range strategy for Model S, X puts pressure on Lucid

September 21, 2023

Tesla’s Standard Range strategy with its flagship Model S and Model X is going to put pressure on the automakers that are emphasizing performance with their vehicles, especially Lucid Group, which has targeted Tesla’s two luxury vehicles with its lineup of Air sedan configurations.

Last night, Tesla officially added Standard Range versions of the S and X to its Design Studio, offering its luxury, high-performance vehicles to customers for a hefty discount. The performance metrics remained the same, the only difference was a reduction in range — 310 miles for the Model S, and 269 miles for the Model X.

Tesla Model S and Model X now more affordable with Standard Range variants

These two new configuration options from Tesla will have those on the ropes between Elon Musk’s company and Lucid, run by former Model S team member Peter Rawlinson, at a crossroads. However, the decision may be easier than ever before.

But the consequences Lucid might feel from Tesla’s new, cheaper configurations are more explicit than ever before. Tesla’s Long Range and Plaid configurations of the S and X were priced relatively similar to Lucid’s top-of-the-line offerings in the Air sedan.

The Model S Plaid comes in at $108,490 before options, and the Lucid Air Grand Touring, the most comparable to the Model S Plaid (within the same price range), is $125,600.

The Model S Plaid has a 1.99-second 0-60 MPH rate, while Lucid’s Air GT will get you there in 2.6 seconds. It trumps the Model S in range, offering 516 miles, while Tesla’s option is still nothing to bat an eye at, with 396 miles.

But now, pricing comes into focus, and undercutting the Air’s Pure configuration that starts at $82,400 by pricing a new Model S at $78,490 may make things a little easier for consumers and a little more difficult for Lucid.

Lucid missed consensus estimates on vehicle deliveries in Q2, as 1,404 cars made their way to customers. FactSet expected 2,000 cars, and struggling with demand, the last thing it needed was an automaker like Tesla to undercut its products with something superior for less money.

In terms of range, the Air is the best that you can get. But it is about more than that, including the vehicle’s ability to function as a daily driver. Lucid customers have reported issues with software in their vehicles, and as it has been a pain point for many automakers in the early development of EVs, it is something people just don’t want to deal with.

Tesla has its own issues, of course. People have recently come forth with claims that their cars get significantly lower range than they are rated for, and, depending on the person, Elon Musk is a touchy subject.

However, some people don’t give a damn about what the CEO does, they just want a car that works well and is priced reasonably. Lucid may have taken a drastic step back with Tesla’s new Model S and Model X trims. Pressure is being applied to rivals of Tesla through the company’s various price cuts in nearly every market.

In the U.S., Tesla put everyone in the hot seat early this year with massive price cuts, and it was up to the manufacturers to play ball or take their chances. Ford followed with price cuts of its own, and Lucid did, too.

Lucid introduces new $7,500 discount as EV price war heats up

However, their strategy did not translate to an overwhelming number of sales, and Lucid cut its delivery expectations to just 10,000 units in Q1, despite having over 28,000 reservations for its cars.

Tesla’s new rollout could be a true gut punch to Lucid as its Model S and Model X Standard Range offerings will give consumers one more reason to pick the unequivocal leader in EVs.

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Tesla’s Standard Range strategy for Model S, X puts pressure on Lucid