Lucid Motors finally unveiled its hyped all-electric, zero-emissions sedan in an event on Wednesday, and the car that made a brief appearance in Los Angeles last month while covered in techno-camouflage came out of hiding.
The Lucid Air debuted at Lucid Motors’ research & development facility in Fremont, California. The cars will be manufactured at a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona.
The Air will compete with the Tesla’s Model S, which by one account is America’s best-loved car.
Lucid Motors CTO Peter Rawlinson was chief engineer at Tesla, and on Wednesday said Lucid’s target customer is “the environmentally conscious chairman of the board,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
The 1,000-horsepower vehicle is expected to have a range of at least 300 miles. That claim tops the Model S, which gets between 183 and 215 miles on a full charge, depending on the model and how fast it’s traveling. (The company also announced an expanded battery pack in August to extend the range of new cars for an additional fee.) Lucid reportedly plans to sell a larger, 130 kWh battery pack that would give it a range of 400 miles. This would make Lucid Air the first car to surpass the battery capacity and range of Tesla’s electric vehicles.
“One of the breakthroughs that we’ve made is a new kind of circuitry that is very tolerant to continuous use, rapid-charged, continuous cycling, for a 24-hour period,” Rawlinson said in November at the LA Auto Show.
Lucid Motors launched in 2007 as a battery company named Atieva. It wasn’t until 2014 that the company started to work on a car of its own.
The Lucid Air would ramp up production in 2018 and eventually produce 60,000 cars a year after that, reports the LA Times. Also: It’ll start at $65,000. It’s financial backing poses a few questions. Here’s the Times:
The Menlo Park company is funded by the Venrock venture capital firm and by Chinese investors including Jia Yueting.
Jia, a controversial Chinese technology entrepreneur, is also investing in troubled Faraday Future, the Gardena company that’s developing its own electric luxury car. Jia has struggled to raise cash lately, and construction work has ceased at Faraday’s North Las Vegas manufacturing site until the company catches up on tens of millions of dollars in past-due bills to its lead contractor, L.A.-based Aecom.
Lucid’s finances are solid, Rawlinson insists. “We’re a completely different company.”