By on November 8, 2019

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.

Image: Lucid Motors

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]

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31 Comments on “Upstart EV Maker Lucid Breaks Ground on Arizona Plant...”


  • avatar
    TimK

    “ Lucid swore in Chief Technical Officer” — maybe a nit, but this is just silly writing. Where’s Joe Friday?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “the facility, which only occupies 1.8 acres of the site, will employ 2,000 people”

    These numbers don’t make sense, in terms of factory size and people per square foot. And 2000 people makes for very low production volume, and then I question the company’s viability.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    1.8 acres is an awful small amount of space for an auto factory, even a burgeoning one. This would imply a mostly hand-built vehicle with very, VERY low production rates. You’re talking about a building little larger than the typical grocery store to handle every aspect of building a new car.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Since it does sound like they will be very expensive, a more or less hand built machine makes sense for the likely volume. I’m just not seeing how they would fit 2,000 people in there along with the production line nor what they would be doing to keep busy at such a production pace.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    1.8 acres would be small for a single family lot size, so for a manufacturing plant? Please no believes this.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      Single family lots are a quarter or third of an acre. 1.8 acres is certainly too small to believe for an auto plant, but not a single family lot.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Single family lots used to be a 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre, but now they are letting them build 8-10 per acre in this area.

      • 0 avatar
        ScarecrowRepair

        Replying to myself with actual internet data from http://www.dimensionsinfo.com/average-lot-size-in-usa/:

        “The median average lot size in USA is 8,750 square feet. The dimensions of the average home in America are 2,330 square feet. Lot dimensions have actually gone done from 10,125 square feet in 1976.”

        1 acre is 43,560 square feet, so this is very close to 1/5 an acre.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Unless your living in New York City the average single family lot is closer to 1-2 acres, and quite frankly I would feel claustrophobic on anything that small unless it was surrounded by a farm.

      I was looking at beach lots a couple years ago and they wanted $35k per 1/3 acre lots 3 rows back from the beach, but you could see everyone was buying up multiple lots
      For their houses as none of the unsold lots were alone they were all surrounded by other lots. Realistically going lower than an acre is just unhealthy.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Umm, no the average is no where near 1-2 acres in the US. It is actually around 12,000 sq ft and dropping as the average size of lot for new construction is around 8600 sq ft. https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/average-yard-size-by-state/

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Where are you guys living at that the lots are that small. I think I see why mental illness rates are climbing, that’s completely unhealthy for anyone to live so tightly confined.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Hummer,

            Several iPhones can still fit comfortably into 8600 sq. ft.

            Thinks…

            Nevermind I concede your point.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            some of us aren’t deathly afraid of other people.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Who’s afraid of other people? I don’t like my neighbors to be able to see in my windows. Some of us don’t want to be breathing down each other’s neck.

            I certainly wouldn’t make my kids suffer a life like that, it’s no different than caging an animal.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yet millions of people do so just fine. maybe don’t project your phobias onto others.

            cripes, you remind me of the scaredy-cats who move further and further north in Macomb county, then complain about how much time they spend in traffic.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Unfortunately, Hummer, not everybody can have the luxury of even a half-acre of ground, much less a full acre or more. My particular residence at the moment has all of 0.08 of an acre–that’s right, less than 1/10th of an acre with an 1800 sq.ft. home.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’m interested in learning about these phobias I have, claustrophobia usually isn’t ridiculed so I’m not sure what other ones you may be speaking of.

            I do a good percent of my work from home so traffic isn’t a problem I have.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’m in western WA and the norm when additions to a town were platted was to make 25×100 lots however the vast majority of houses were built on 2 lots so 5,000 sq ft. Later as the suburbs sprouted the common zoning was RS7200 or a 7200 sq ft min and some areas where it was RS9600. The terminology has changed and now a common zoning is R8 or 8 houses net per acre. Which means once they build a storm water retention pond and a “neighborhood park” the lots are as small as 3500 sq ft in some cases.

            Personally I can’t see living in a place like that but many people are happy on their 5,000 sq ft lot.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Hey, “Hummer,” you’re the one who claims raising kids on less than 2 acres is like keeping them in a cage. Millions of us grew up in houses on 50×100 lots in the ‘burbs. You are the one with the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The median acreage for a single family home is absolutely not that large, if we’re talking about the United States.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          no kidding. the lot in the house I grew up in (older suburb of Detroit) is on roughly 1/8th of an acre. and that’s pretty much standard for the older part. the newer neighborhoods are about 1/4 acre.

          not everyone outside of NYC lives in a McMansion out in the sticks.

      • 0 avatar
        thx_zetec

        Unless you live in New York City or LA, San Fran, Phoenix, Indi, er well any city pretty much.

        Not sure what is healthy, there is some data showing getting out in nature can do you good. But overall rural lifespan shorter than urban.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24439358

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      Rural lots in the USA tend to be 1 acre or more because that’s the minimum usually allowed for a septic system.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Um the toiling masses are buying all of those Mitsu Mirages, none of them can afford a 30K+ EV.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Stylists at other OEM’s reviewing these pictures:

    “Pffffft – those dents in the side should be WAY more angular!”

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    1.8 acres under roof = 78000 sf or about the size of a soccer field.
    Subtract utilities, latrines, lunch rooms, shipping and receiving….
    Even if the 2000 people are divided into two work shifts, that’s still 1000 workers in a football field size area. I’ve been in an indoor football field when roughly 300 marching band kids were practicing and it seemed pretty crowded. The numbers presented seems quite dubious.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    What happens when I am no longer lucid. Does it summon Jeeves?

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Wow, much discussion about the size of house lot sizes. Looks like the conversation took a turn and is off in the weeds.

    Anyway if you go to google maps and enter “case grande” then search for “lucid motors” you can look at a top view of what appears to be their business. The building appears to be about 600 x 400 sq ft, or about 24,000 sq feet. An acre is 43,000 sq feet for this in one order of 0.5 acre for building. Comparing the building to size of cars parked around it I could believe you could do small scale auto manufacturing there. That said 2000 workers seems like too many –

    I live 30 minutes away I will do some more research and report back.

    Anyway back to argument about house lots sizes. Casa Grande means “big house”.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar
    Vulpine

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


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