Electric vehicle startup Lucid announced Tuesday that production of its first cars for customers was underway, with deliveries expected to begin late next month.
Lucid is the first EV start-up to go public as part of a SPAC deal to actually make a salable vehicle for consumers. The milestone is crucial for Lucid, which debuted on Nasdaq in July and is believed to be the front runner to rival EV leader Tesla.
“I am pleased that production cars with this level of efficiency are currently leaving our production line,” said Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, a former chief engineer and vice president of engineering at Tesla, in a statement.
Electric vehicle startup Lucid announced on September 28, 2021 that it had started producing its first cars for customers at its facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Lucid’s first car is a special edition of its flagship sedan called the Air Dream Edition for $ 169,000 with an industry-leading range of up to 520 miles, according to the EPA. The company plans to produce just 520 of the Dream Edition models, based on the car’s EPA range.
Prices for an entry-level version of the car, the Lucid Air sedan, start at $ 77,400 before a federal tax credit of up to $ 7,500 for plug-in vehicles.
Lucid said it has received more than 13,000 total bookings to date.
The first vehicles produced, including Lucid Air Grand Touring models, are intended for Lucid’s studios, sales teams and customer test drives, according to a company spokesman.
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Lucid announced to investors in July that according to an investor presentation, 20,000 Lucid Air sedans will be produced in 2022, with sales of more than $ 2.2 billion. That’s a slower start-up than other EV startups.
“Our focus is on quality, delivering a fantastic car, a car our customers will truly love, and a luxurious customer experience,” Rawlinson said Tuesday at CNBC’s Closing Bell. “That takes precedence over the rapid ramp-up of production in the immediate future, but next year we will clearly ramp things up on an S-curve of production.”
Lucid manufactures the Air in a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. It is building a prospective multi-billion dollar facility, which will be the first greenfield EV facility in the US, in phases on 590 acres. The plant is expected to produce an SUV called Gravity in 2023.
Lucid was founded in 2007 as Atieva, a name it uses today for its engineering and technology branch that supplies batteries for the Formula E electric circuit. The company initially focused on electric battery technology before changing its name to an electric vehicle manufacturer in 2016, three years after Rawlinson joined the company to lead its technology development before becoming CEO.
Lucid had some difficulty raising capital to fund its plans until September 2018 when it received $ 1 billion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. According to FactSet, she remains the company’s largest shareholder with around 62% of the outstanding shares.
The automaker is one of a group of EV startups that went public in the past year or so. Others were Faraday Future, Canoo, Fisker and Lordstown Motors. No one has made a salable vehicle for consumers.
Lucid starts production two weeks after Amazon-backed EV startup Rivian began production of its first vehicle, a pickup truck called the R1T, at a factory in Normal, Illinois.