Lucid Motors Becomes an Automaker

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Imagefont Imagefont on Oct 01, 2021

    Tesla is the Starbucks of electric cars, and there is only room for one. This company will not duplicate their success even if the product is superior, because that’s not why people by Teslas. Ford and GM won’t have that kind of success either, regardless of the product. These second comers will have to get by on their merits, price and value. And $100,000+ cars do not represent good value in any way shape or form. But good luck anyway!

  • El scotto El scotto on Oct 01, 2021

    Uh, what will they do when Lexus/Mercedes/JLR come out with their EV flagships? Technical competence, history, and cachet sell those three. An upstart EV built in a factory that should be made into GM's Shrine To Mediocrity will be a hard sell to those who lease a six-figure vehicle.

  • The Oracle This thing got porky quick.
  • Kwi65728132 I'll grant that it's nicely kept but I'm not a fan of the bangle butt designs, and I know better than to buy a used BMW while living anywhere in the world other than in the fatherland where these are as common as any Honda or Toyota is anywhere else.
  • ChristianWimmer When these came out I thought they were hideous: now they’ve grown on me. This one looks pretty nice. Well-maintained, low mileage and some good-looking wheels that aren’t super fancy but not cheap-looking or boring either, they are just right.
  • Aja8888 Someday in the far away future, all cars will look the same, people will be the same color, dogs will be all mixed beyond recognition, and governments will own everything. That car looks like my son's Hyundai Tucson without badges.
  • Tassos Of course, what the hell did you expect? A SERIOUS, BEAUTIFUL car you can ACTUALLY USE AS YOUR DAILY DRIVER???............. NOOOOO, THIS IS TIM WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. SO HE FINDS SOME OBSOLETE POS WHICH IS 22 years old, .............AND HE PURPOSELY MISSES THE BEAUTIFUL MODEL, THE Classical Beauty E39 that ended in 2003. ...........So he uses his column as a WASTEBASKET once again, to throw the first year of BMWs BANGLED 5 series (as in the INFAMOUS CHRIS BANGLE WHO SCREWED UP THE DESIGN ROYALLY). ................................................ As Dr. Evil, Fake Doctor Jill Biden would scream at the top of her voice, so her senile idiot husband could hear her, "Good Job, (Tim)! You answered all the questions and ticked all the boxes!" ..... KEEP UP THE S---Y work, Tim!