© Reuters A Lucid Air electric vehicle is on display at a shopping mall in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, September 2, 2021. Reuters / Hyunju Jin
By Hyunju Jin
Casa Grande, Ariz. .
California-based Lucid began production of the long-delayed Lucid Air car at its Arizona plant on Tuesday and said it aims to increase production capacity to 20,000,000 vehicles annually over the next two years.
The top-end Lucid Air Dream version will be available in late October, followed by the less expensive models: Grand Turing, Turing and Air Pure. The company said it has received more than 13,000 reservations for the Lucid Air model and has increased the planned total production of the Lucid Air Dream Edition to 520 vehicles.
A version of the Lucid Air Dream Edition, priced at 9 169,000, has received an official US official 520 mile (837 km) driving range rating, which is 100 miles higher than its nearest rival Tesla (Nasdaq 🙂 ‘s Model S. Priced at $ 89,990. The higher range helped Lucid’s stock jump 23% this month.
Speaking at the production site, Peter Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid, a former chief engineer at Tesla Model S, said his company has advantages over car battery technology and costs more than the Model S.
“We’ve put customers at risk of limit concerns,” he said. “The next big hurdle is the cost-effectiveness of electric vehicles. We need to reduce costs.”
He said Air Pure, the least expensive version, priced at 400 40,000, would go into production by the end of next year.
Founded in 2007, the company received funding from the Saudi Public Investment Fund in 2018 before going public through Shell Company https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lucidmotors-ma-churchill-cap-iv-excl/ Exclusive-Lucid- Motor-Near-Space-Deal-Klein-Launch-Financing-Source-ID USKBN 2AG2D6 in July.
“(20) 1 and (20) 1 were brutal. The company was in a weird state. And then I have to say, we’ve met a perfect partner,” he said.
Rawlinson, who left Tesla in 2012, faced work like Tesla in his early days, including how to deal with production challenges and increase production.
“I think the big challenge for Lucid will be the death penalty,” said Sam Abul Samid, chief analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “I think they have a very good car. It’s very interesting.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in June that Tesla had scrapped plans to launch a Model S Plaid + with a target range of 520 miles, saying the Model S Plaid itself was “very good” https://www.reuters.com/business/ Auto-Transport / Tesla-Launch-High-End-Model-S-Plaid-Fend-Of-Mercedes-Porsche-2021-06-10.
Musk reiterated this month that “production is difficult”.
“Production with positive cash flow is extremely difficult,” he said, citing the razor-thin margins of the workers.
Tesla’s combined sales of the Model S and Model X luxury models stood at just 1,890 in the second quarter of this year, down from 22,300 in the same period three years ago. Tesla did not break the statistics of the two high-end models.
“The Model S is not fundamentally different from the Model S nine years ago,” Abul Samid said. “In the premium market, customers are looking for the latest and greatest.”
Musk slashed the price of its Model S in October 2020, shortly after Lucid announced the price of its base model. He tweeted at the time, “The gantlet has been dropped! The prophecy will come true.”
Electric vehicle maker Rivian, backed by Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 and is now preparing to make a public stock listing, began production of electric pickup trucks earlier this month. The move comes ahead of similarly expected moves by Tesla, General Motors Co (NYSE 🙂 and Ford Motor (NYSE :).