If you’ve been following the auto industry lately, particularly the development of competing Electric Vehicle (EV) models, then you’ve likely heard of Lucid Motors. If not, then now you have – they’re a brand-new auto manufacturer with their sights set squarely on competing with Tesla and other major luxury brands. So far, they’ve talked a good game, but they really haven’t produced anything until now. Now, they have a factory, and they’re ready to roll.
That might not sound like a huge achievement, considering how many car factories have come and gone in the US over the last century or so, but it’s certainly a good place for Lucid Motors to start. After all, without a factory, it’s a little hard to deliver on the level of quality and performance they’ve promised. This is only the first phase of their factory development, and there’s still plenty of ground to cover, but it’s a strong start. And considering the location is in Arizona, it will undoubtedly bring a lot of work to the area and help revitalize a struggling economy.
What Is Lucid Motors?
Lucid Motors is one of several relatively recent startups, which is getting into the auto industry and looking to follow the blueprint of Tesla to make a name for itself. There are quite a few of these companies out there, and the success of Lucid Motors among them has not always been guaranteed. On the one hand, I can understand why there are so many of these companies. You watch an interview with Elon Musk, hear him talking, and it’s easy to think, “Well, if this guy could do it, anyone can!”
However, it’s apparently a bit trickier than it seems and requires a lot of money upfront. That’s where Lucid ran into some trouble that kept it from finishing this factory sooner. This is a $700 million factory that was just completed (well, Phase One was completed), and it’s been about four years since Lucid first announced that it was going to be making EVs to compete with Tesla and others. It seems they underestimated just how expensive the process would be and only managed to survive thanks to a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in 2018.
Interesting that Saudi Arabia, a country that prospers almost entirely due to its massive oil reserves, is now investing heavily into an EV future. I suppose it’s a smart way to future-proof their wealth if cars all go electric.
Lucid Motors Factory – Phase One
The factory that was recently completed is not the entire factory that Lucid Motors set out to build, only the beginning. This first phase is still massive, however, and stretches out across 999,000 sq.ft. of land, with the ability to produce up to 30,000 vehicles per year. Which is great, because so far, they haven’t actually built or delivered any vehicles to people; usually, for a car company to be successful, they have to make and sell cars.
Considering the fact that Lucid Motors has stated people will begin receiving their first vehicles in Spring 2021, that’s not a lot of time to start manufacturing. But since the factory is now complete, we can assume that they’ll get to work and start building vehicles. The first such vehicle that has been revealed and will be manufactured at this new factory is the Lucid Air, a gorgeous luxury vehicle that is clearly designed to compete with not only Tesla but other luxury models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Lucid Motors Factory – Future Phases
So what’s the end-goal here for Lucid Motors and their factory? As I stated above, right now, they’ve completed Phase One and have a 999,000 sq.ft. facility that can produce the upcoming Lucid Air. Assuming the Air does well and they start bringing in some capital, the plan is to continue growing the factory to a gargantuan size of more than 5 million sq.ft. that would stretch out across the 590 acres of land that Lucid acquired for the facility.
They’re already working on this goal, in fact, growing and building the factory out even more as it begins production of their first model. The plan is for this development to continue throughout additional phases that should take the next seven years or so, resulting in a finished manufacturing plant that will be truly impressive. This final factory is slated to be able to produce as many as 400,000 vehicles per year, with the upcoming Lucid Air set to be followed by an all-electric SUV that’s currently in development.
It’s a big goal that’s definitely going to be interesting to watch. If they’re successful, it should create some impressive competition for Tesla, Lexus, BMW, and other manufacturers. Of course, that’s a noteworthy “if” for a company that’s already spent so much money and hasn’t actually produced or sold anything yet.
The Lucid Air
What they’ve shown of the upcoming Lucid Air definitely looks impressive. There are numerous trims available for the Air, starting with the Air Pure at $69,900 MSRP. While that’s certainly pricey, remember that this is a luxury model, so with that in mind, it’s not outrageous.
The Air Pure has a single motor with rear-wheel drive, though dual-motor all-wheel drive is available on it. With its standard setup, it gets 480 hp, has a projected range of up to 406 miles, and comes with 19-inch wheels. It comes with a leather-alternative interior with graphite and carbon oak trim, and the interior features a gorgeous, 34-inch 5K panel with displays for driver information, plus a retractable central display.
Higher trims offer improved performance, in some cases, incredibly improved. The Air Grand Touring is probably the best option for most people, with dual-motor all-wheel drive standard, generating up to 800 hp and up to 517 miles of estimated range on a full charge. This stunning model features a glass canopy roof, 21-inch wheels, and it can go from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds. If you’re looking for pure performance, however, then the limited Air Dream Edition has a dual-motor system that delivers 1,080 hp (yes, you read that right) and can go from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds – though all that speed lowers its maximum range to an estimated 503 miles.
The Future of Lucid Motors
As you can see, things are looking good for Lucid Motors right now. Their factory is complete, their first car looks stunning and performs beautifully, and they’re well on their way to growing larger and offering even more vehicles. That being said, they’re still unproven, so everything rides on how well the Lucid Air actually performs, particularly compared to Tesla models and EVs on the horizon from luxury manufacturers that have a proven record.
In other words, they’re one to watch. If you want to take a risk on a brand-new EV developer, then check out the Lucid Air. Otherwise, keep an eye on what they’re doing and see if they deliver on their promises.