The long awaited Tesla Model S rival from EV startup Lucid began production this week, with the first customer deliveries to take place in October.
Lucid Motors had plenty of reasons to celebrate earlier this week as the first examples of its Air sedan rolled off the production line destined to fill customer orders.
Produced in Arizona, the Lucid Air Dream sedan has a Tesla-rivalling electric range and sports electric motors that produce over 1000hp (745kW).
The first round of customer deliveries of the Lucid Air will take place in October. While the luxury EVs are being built exclusively for the US market at this stage, order books opened in 2020 for Australian customers.
The company has said it has received more than 13,000 reservations for the Lucid Air sedan, the cheapest of which costs USD$77,400 (equivalent to AUD$106,000 in September 2021).
Created especially for the launch of the first production Lucid model, the Air Dream Edition has been expanded to 520 units and has a certified EPA range of 837km (520 miles), which is a driving range 161km greater than the Tesla Model S Plaid, the most clear rival to the Air.
Mercedes is not far behind with its own electric sedan, the EQS, but even in top spec it still falls short in terms of price and range. The EQS manages a total range of 770km and a significant $350,000-$400,000 price point.
Lucid’s Arizona factory not only assembles the final product but also produces additional components including the batteries and motors used by the Air.
The name Lucid may be unfamiliar to Australian readers, but the marque has been around since 2007.
Originally building batteries for other manufacturers, Lucid in 2016 received funding to develop its own cars.
Lucid held the contract to supply all battery packs for the 2018-2019 Formula E season, as well as the 2019-2020 season.
A major $1 billion investment from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia helped Lucid Motors get the ball rolling for their manufacturing facility.
The company picked a 500-acre site in Casa Grande, Arizona, to build their megafactory which will initially build 10,000 cars a year. The plan is to expand the factory so that 300,000 cars can be built per year.
After almost six years of development, the Lucid Air electric sedan is almost ready for initial release.
The firm has plans to build an SUV as well as a potential Tesla Model 3 rival by 2024 or 2025.
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