Lucid Motors Becomes an Automaker


Production of the 2022 Lucid Air started this week, adding another automaker to the North American roster. The manufacturer held an event on September 28th, inviting Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, relevant executives, big-time investors, select media outlets, and customers who dropped $170,000 to purchase the limited Dream Edition of the electric vehicle.

While often framed as a Tesla ripoff, Lucid Motors has been setting its sights so high that it hardly feels like a fair assessment. Because the Air is offering one of the most impressive all-electric spec sheets in the industry right now and should probably worry the competition.

“The proprietary EV technology that Lucid has developed will make it possible to travel more miles using less battery energy. For example, our Lucid Air Grand Touring has an official EPA rating of 516 miles of range with a 112-kWh battery pack, giving it an industry-leading efficiency of 4.6 miles per kWh. Our technology will allow for increasingly lighter, more efficient, and less expensive EVs, and today represents a major step in our journey to expand the accessibility of more sustainable transportation,” Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid Group, said at the event. “I’m delighted that production cars endowed with this level of efficiency are currently driving off our factory line.”

With manufacturing duties split between the Advanced Manufacturing Plant (AMP-1) and nearby Lucid Powertrain Manufacturing (LPM-1), the company thinks it should be able to commence deliveries in October. However, that will be limited to the 520 all-wheel-drive Dream Edition cars people paid extra for. The Range variant offers 520 miles on a single charge while the Performance model is said to offer an operating area of 451 miles and enough horsepower to breeze through a quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds at 144 mph.

Next on the production docket will be the 800-hp Lucid Air Grand Touring ($139,000).

Lucid said it currently has around 13,000 reservation holders, though its survival will hinge on its sales performance after those deliveries are handled and it has to focus on base (which will be rear-drive only) and mid-trimmed cars. While the manufacturer has said those models won’t have the same charging capacities as cars boasting higher MSRPs, everything is supposed to yield a maximum range in excess of 400 miles and retain DC fast-charging capability. Customers will also get three full years of free access to Electrify America charging stations.

All in all, it’s sounding quite good for Lucid. But we’ll have to wait and see if it can maintain momentum and reach the same heights that Tesla has. Lucid Motors has made some bold assertions about the future and it could be undone if has to break a bunch of promises regarding the lesser trims or quality control becomes an issue. This is a brand-new automaker, after all.

But things are looking up for the time being and the company is even considering subsequent vehicles. AMP-1 is supposed to begin production of an all-electric SUV using much of the same technology that’s gone into the Air. Its launch has tentatively been scheduled for sometime in 2023.

[Images: Lucid Motors]

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