Upstart EV Maker Lucid Breaks Ground on Arizona Plant

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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upstart ev maker lucid breaks ground on arizona plant

A substantial car with a name that implies nothingness will soon have a home.

Lucid Motors, which positioned its vastly powerful Air sedan near the front doors of the 2017 New York International Auto Show, has broken ground on an assembly plant in Casa Grande, Arizona. With suppliers lined up and braintrust in place, all Lucid lacked was a plant — and, for a considerable time, the cash to pull it all off.

Thank the Saudis for riding to the rescue with a check.

Earlier this year, Lucid tapped Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund for $1 billion in funding, allowing it to move forward with its $700 million Arizona facility. As reported by Autocar, final approval came last month, with the fledgling automaker agreeing to lease some 500 acres from the county for $1.8 million per year. The company can buy the site after five years.

Once geared up, the facility, which only occupies 1.8 acres of the site, will employ 2,000 people, Lucid claims. The first Airs are expected to leave the plant by the end of next year.

As things finally begin progressing on the ground, the Air remains a yet-unattainable dream for those in the market for a truly high-end sedan. Cited as having 400 miles of range and up to 1,000 horsepower, Lucid’s first product (an SUV is rumored to be under development) makes no effort to bring electric driving to the toiling masses. This is a car for people who want nice things, and that’s okay.

Boasting twin motors, all-wheel drive, and a spacious cabin, the Air is both a statement and status symbol. In top-spec form, the Air is said to reach 60 mph in 2.5 seconds; a prototype reached 235 mph during early testing. Lesser variants will remove a motor, bringing the Air’s output to a more affordable 400 hp. The model starts around $60,000.

In April, Lucid swore in Chief Technical Officer Peter Rawlinson, formerly of Tesla, Lotus, and Jaguar, as its CEO.

“Lucid has the product vision, the core in-house technology, and the depth of talent to realize this potential,” Rawlinson said at the time. “Working collaboratively, our outstanding team will create landmark future products, commencing with Lucid Air in 2020.”

[Image: Lucid Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Akear Akear on Nov 11, 2019

    The company may sell a few thousand vehicles in the next five years and then fade away. This is not a real company.

  • Vulpine Vulpine on Nov 11, 2019

    The same was said about Tesla... for many years. There are those who still believe it.

  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh ""we cant build cars that don't cheat emission tests""
  • Jeff NYC does have the right to access these charges and unless you are traveling on business or a necessity you don't have to drive or live in NYC. I have been in NYC a few times and I have absolutely no desire to go back. I can say the same thing about Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston where I lived for 29 years. A city can get too big where it is no longer livable for many. I was raised in West Houston near the Katy Freeway which is part of I-10. The Katy Freeway when I moved from Houston in 1987 was a 6 lane road--3 lanes on each side of the interstate with each side having side access roads which we called feeder roads for a total of 8 lanes. Today the Katy freeway has 26 lanes which include feeder roads. I went back to Houston in 2010 to see my father who was dying and lost any desire to go back. To expand the Katy Freeway it took thousands of businesses to be torn down. I read an article about future expansion of the Katy freeway that said the only way to expand it was to either put a deck above it or to go underground. One of the things the city was looking at was to have tolls during the peak hours of traffic. Houston is very flat and it is easier to expand the size of roads than in many eastern cities but how easy is it to expand a current road that already has 26 lanes and is one of the widest roads in the World. It seems that adding more lanes to the Katy freeway just expanded the amount of traffic and increased the need for more lanes. Just adding more lanes and expanding roads is not a long term solution especially when more homes and businesses are built in an area. There was rapid growth In Northern Kentucky when I lived in Hebron near the Northern Kentucky Cincinnati Airport. , Amazon built a terminal and facility onto the airport that was larger than the rest of the airport. Amazon built more warehouses, more homes were being built, and more businesses. Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties in Northern Kentucky are constantly expanding roads and repairing them. Also there is the Brent Spence Bridge which crosses the Ohio River into Cincinnati that is part of I-71 and I-75 and major North and South corridor. The bridge is 60 years old and is obsolete and is in severe disrepair. I-71 and I-75 are major corridors for truck transportation.
  • Art_Vandelay It's not like everyone is topping their ICE vehicles off and coasting into the gas station having used every last drop of fuel either though. Most people start looking to fill up at around a 1/4 of a tank. If you constantly run the thing out of gas your fuel pump would probably be unhappy. If you running your EV to zero daily you probably bought the wrong vehicle
  • ToolGuy Imagine how exciting the automotive landscape will be once other manufacturers catch up with Subaru's horizontally-opposed engine technology.
  • FreedMike Oh, and this..."While London likes to praise its own congestion charging for reducing traffic and increasing annual revenues, tourism has declined..."The reason London's tourism numbers are down is that the city has resumed its' "tourist tax." And why did the tourist tax get reimposed? Brexit.