The first electric cars were invented in the 1830s, and by the late 19th century were setting land speed records (the fastest exceeded 65 miles per hour) and were being used as taxis in the United States and the United Kingdom. At one point in the early 1900s, there were as many as nine electric car manufacturers in America. Improvements in the internal combustion engine and the mass production of cars using that technology spelled the end to vehicles powered by electricity, however – until recent times.
The most expensive electric car today, but also the one with the longest range, is the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition R AWD with 19-inch wheels. However, the largest manufacturer of such vehicles by far is Tesla.
Tesla was founded in 2003 but did not have meaningful sales until its Model S sedan was released in 2012. In the fourth quarter of last year, it delivered 308,000 vehicles. Today, Tesla is the most valuable company in the world, with a market capitalization of $948 billion (and its founder, Elon Musk, is the world’s richest man, surpassing even Jeff Bezos). GM, the largest conventional auto manufacturer based in America, has a market cap of $77 billion.
GM, along with every major car company in the world, has started to chase Tesla. Electric cars are considered the wave of the future. This is true for several reasons. One is global warming and the resulting anxiety about fossil fuels. Another is the cost of fuel. Yet another is pressure from governments that have started to set goals for the number of electric vehicles they expect to have on the road in the years ahead. The German government has begun a push to have 15 million electric vehicles by 2030. The Biden Administration’s goal is 30 million by that year. (As of now, these are the most eco-friendly cars on the market.)
Car companies have announced aggressive plans to move swiftly into the EV sector. GM has promised it will have 20 EV models by 2023. Ford management says it will be the number two electric car maker in the world within two years. While neither of the manufacturers can prove their claims, they are prepared to spend billions of dollars in pursuit of their goals.
Many Americans don’t want an electric car. According to a major piece of research from Deloitte, people worry about how far an electric car can go on one charge. In the United States, 20% of those surveyed said “driving range” was their primary concern. Only a modest number of EVs have a range of over 300 miles. Most gas-powered cars can go much further on a single tank of gas – typically 400 miles or more. (These are the best cities in the US to own an electric car.)
To determine the EVs with the longest range, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed an analysis published by Cars.com. The champion for long-distance driving, according to the site,, is the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition R all-wheel drive with 19-inch wheels, which has a range of 520 miles. The study’s authors commented, “The Lucid Air has dethroned the Tesla Model S and taken over as long-range champion (at least for now).”
Lucid is an extremely small car company and had sales of only $2.3 million in the third quarter of 2021. It lost $524 million during the same period. Stunningly, though, Lucid has a market cap of $62 billion, approaching that of GM.