The emergence of Tesla as a number one carmaker within the EV house over the past 10-15 years has maybe proved two issues.
Firstly, in a world stuffed with behemoth firms with glittering histories that may hint their origins again a long time, it’s nonetheless doable to create an progressive new firm that may rival the economic giants.
However secondly, based mostly on the variety of firms which have tried and failed, the capital-intensive automotive business is likely one of the most tough environments for a start-up to thrive in.
Lucid is one in every of these start-ups that’s aiming to beat Tesla at its personal recreation, and tackle the older incumbents too.
Firm overview and temporary historical past
Formally often called Lucid Motors, the corporate was based roughly 4 years after Tesla in 2007, and was identified initially as Atieva.
Specializing in producing batteries, electrical powertrains and different related parts for different producers, Lucid was in a position to acquire substantial expertise in the best way to develop these applied sciences in a context appropriate to be used within the automotive business.
As an indication of its ambition, in 2013 the corporate poached Peter Rawlinson and employed him as its Chief Technical Officer.
Rawlinson had beforehand labored because the VP of Automobile Engineering and the Chief Engineer of the landmark Tesla Mannequin S, and together with design head Derek Jenkins (of Mazda pedigree), fashioned a spine of personnel with vital expertise.
This preliminary experience allowed the corporate to construct its personal full 670kW EV powertrain in 2014, that the agency claimed might speed up from 0-60mph (96km/h) in roughly three seconds.
This was a large step in direction of the corporate constructing and promoting its personal automotive, and correspondingly, the agency rebranded from Atieva to the way more memorable Lucid title in 2016, and immediately signalled its intention to mass produce autos below this title.
After all, mass producing a automotive additionally means having a manufacturing unit to construct it in and the funding to arrange a provide chain to supply components, tooling and different parts.
Considerably satirically for an organization centered on sustainability, that is the place the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia assisted vastly.
With the Center Japanese nation trying to diversify its economic system, the nation invested an preliminary $US1 billion within the fledgling carmaker, which along with funding from different sources, assisted it to finish an preliminary Part 1 improvement of a brand new manufacturing unit in Casa Grade, Arizona, with an preliminary manufacturing capability of 34,000 autos per 12 months.
Commensurate with this, extra hires from the ‘legacy’ automotive business adopted, corresponding to VP of International Manufacturing Peter Hochholdinger in 2019, who had beforehand spent greater than 20 years at Audi.
At present, Lucid is a publicly listed firm with shares buying and selling below the ‘LCID’ ticker image on the Nasdaq alternate, and has a market cap of roughly $US28.4 billion, slightly below rival startup Rivian, and just like established firms corresponding to Tata Motors and Volvo.
Present mannequin vary
Lucid’s present mannequin vary may be very easy. It consists of 1 mannequin, specifically the Air, which is a sedan positioned to immediately rival the Tesla Mannequin S.
That includes improvements corresponding to a 900V electrical structure, a drag coefficient of simply 0.21 and what Lucid claims is the most important entrance trunk (boot) in its class, the Air commenced manufacturing for the North American market in 2021.
The preliminary Dream Version Vary variant gives a claimed vary of 520 miles (836km) on the demanding EPA take a look at cycle, and thereby the document because the world’s longest-range mass-produced electrical automotive.
Maybe simply as spectacular as its vary is the mannequin’s efficiency. The newest Lucid Air Sapphire variant, unveiled not too long ago, options Lucid’s first tri-motor powertrain with two rear-axle and one front-axle motor to supply efficiency that surpasses the Tesla Mannequin S Plaid.
With a complete energy output of 1200 hp (equating to 895kW), Lucid claims that the Sapphire can’t solely speed up to 60mph (96km/h) in below 2 seconds, but in addition full a standing quarter mile in below 9 seconds and speed up to 100 mph (161km/h) in below 4 seconds.
To cease the automobile, carbon ceramic brakes are included as commonplace on this variant.
Naturally, stratospheric efficiency additionally means stratospheric pricing, and while the entry-level Air Pure is on the market from $US87,400 (equal to $125,200), the Sapphire is priced at $US249,000 (equal to $356,700), with the caveat that these costs are earlier than all taxes and on-road prices.
Other than probably much more variations of the Air sedan, the following new mannequin anticipated from Lucid is the upcoming Gravity SUV.
Anticipated to be on-sale in 2024, Lucid claims that this will probably be a snug seven-seat SUV within the vein of fashions such because the Mercedes EQS SUV and BMW’s X7.
Sharing a platform and applied sciences with the Air sedan, Lucid claims the Gravity could have a minimal vary of no less than 400 miles (644km) from a 113kWh battery pack (related in dimension to the Lucid Air).
Lucid is at present specializing in ramping up manufacturing to satisfy North American demand, with the corporate already revising manufacturing forecasts downwards on account of numerous provide chain and pandemic associated points.
The corporate has introduced gross sales will broaden to left-hand-drive European markets in late 2022, with retail showrooms at present within the strategy of being arrange. Exports to China and different markets such because the Center East are anticipated to comply with shortly afterwards.
While it’s rumoured that the Air sedan has been designed to be produced in right-hand-drive since its inception, the timing of those variants stays unclear.
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