Arriving in 2020, the Lucid Air luxury sedan will have a 400-mile range and cost $100,000+

Jul 21, 2019

Lucid Motor’s first EV will be the Lucid Air, which the Silicon Valley-based company plans to begin selling in 2020. The Air is a 1,000 horsepower ultra-luxury electric sedan with a 400-mile range and a $100,000+ MSRP, designed to give Tesla, Mercedes and BMW a run for their money.

By John Coulter, CMO, Current EV / July 2019

Today’s EV batteries provide 3.5 to 4 miles per kilowatt hour. Lucid Motor’s engineers are aiming to create 5 miles per kilowatt-hour batteries that can take repeated fast charging and are made up of packs as small as 30 kWh. CEO Peter Rawlinson, who was the chief engineer for the Tesla Model S during its development before joining Lucid Motors in 2016, believes that EVs need to move to “a different paradigm” beyond ever-bigger batteries. He says the key to creating them will be Lucid’s in-house technology expertise, which includes production and design of small, highly efficient motors and power electronics as well as unprecedented levels of slippery aerodynamics. “It’s not one thing,” said Rawlinson. “It’s everything.”

After Lucid Air gets up and running, Rawlinson is intent on making a true luxury car that sells below $30,000. “That’s how we change the way that humanity mobilizes itself.” Before that happens, the company will have to establish its brand cachet with a technological tour de force. At this stage, that’s the Air.

Having just received $1B from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Lucid plans to break ground on its $700M Casa Grande, Arizona factory by mid-2019. Lucid Motor’s parent company was Atieva, a startup created by an ex-Tesla VP to make battery pack software and package their tech for a cell agnostic battery pack technology. Operating in “stealth mode,” the company evolved into an EV manufacturer with designs for a “breakthrough electric vehicle.” Atieva became Lucid Motors in 2016 and released teaser images of its all-electric “dreamcar.”

Lucid raised a few hundred million dollars to create their EV. When money got tight, they received a loan from the Chinese electric bus company Yinlong Electric Vehicle Group. With the Saudis now involved, that loan has been repaid. Though the US government is still reviewing the Saudi loan, it expects to approve it, and Lucid will move forward in earnest on producing its first vehicle for sale, the Lucid Air.

The Lucid website claims its Air will be a “marvel of proportion and form. Freed from the spatial requirements of an internal combustion engine, the Air achieves an expansive full-size interior within a midsize exterior, delivering sublime comfort in a new luxury class.”

Inspired by the kind of seating available in an executive jet, the Air’s rear seating will accommodate 3 adults with class-leading legroom and will offer an option for rear seating with 55 degrees of incline, so that passengers can stretch out and almost fully lay down.

The website claims that, “In the future, Lucid’s assistive technology will help you and your family get things done. Over-the-air software upgrades will allow the Lucid Air to transition through progressive levels of autonomy. In the future, your car will be able to retrieve your groceries, pick up your kids from practice, or provide you a moment to sit back and relax as you are safely driven home.” It also states that the Lucid Air will come with features and options that rival high-end benchmarks. Meaning Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and other luxury carmakers that Lucid intends to challenge by bringing about, as their website states, “A new era of luxury mobility.”

EV adopters with large wallets: stay tuned for further details…