The electric-vehicle startup Lucid Motors intends to launch its first car, the Air luxury sedan, next year.Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said the car would have a more luxurious inside than some other EV on the market.Rawlinson guarantees a more compact footprint compared to a Tesla Model S or Porsche Taycan but more inside space.Are you a present or previous Lucid worker? Have you got an opinion about what it is like to work there? Contact this reporter in [email protected], on Signal at 646-768-4712, or through his encoded email address [email protected] Business Insider’s homepage to get more stories.
The electric-vehicle sector is littered with the remains of startups that whined enormous before immediately going bankrupt. In the united states, just Tesla has managed to live beyond the first phases of production.That record, however, has not stopped a new generation of EV manufacturers from asserting a tide of vehicles that they say will be stronger, broad, and technologically innovative compared to their gas-powered competitions. The main question these businesses face is if some of them is able to turn their expansive ambitions to a workable business.Unlike most of his opponents, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson can stage to encounter. He headed the creation of Tesla’s Model S Condo, which debuted in 2012 and is currently known as one of the most significant vehicles in automotive history. Currently Rawlinson’s back together with all the Lucid Air automobile, that will be scheduled to begin combating the Model S along with other electrical sedans next year.Rawlinson stated the Air would stand besides the EVs available on the current market, not one of which includes an interior which can accommodate the comfort and material quality of a Mercedes-Benz, Audi, or even BMW.”The luxury automobiles which are offered are gasoline-powered,” that he said.Lucid intends to alter that.More inside space than the usual Model S or Porsche Taycan
Rawlinson said the Lucid Air’s interior could be unmatched by some of its electric-vehicle competitions.
However, Rawlinson does not need to only mimic the German automakers. The Air requires a sleeker, more minimalist way of automotive luxury, one that he contrasts to business-class chairs on a plane. EVs have an integrated edge over gas-powered vehicles at the quantity of inside space they could free up for passengers because they have fewer components under the hood and floor pan to style around. However, Rawlinson said the Air could set a benchmark, even by EV criteria. It will unite an outside footprint smaller than that of a Model S or Porsche Taycan, using an interior more spacious compared to a Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, ” he explained.
The key was decreasing the Air’s powertrain, which comprises its own battery pack, engine, transmission, and inverter, without compromising on functionality. The Air’s recorded specs compare favorably with all the Model S and Taycan: above 400 kilometers of variety, a 0 to 60 mph time under 2.5 seconds, and what Lucid calls the best aerodynamic efficiency of any luxury car.Though it won’t become clear until 2021 if the Air is as good as advertised, part of Lucid’s powertrain technology has already won the support of performance-minded drivers. Since 2018, the company has been the official battery-pack supplier of the Formula E electric-vehicle racing league (McLaren Applied makes the battery cells). Before Lucid won that contract, drivers would have switch vehicles midrace just to reach the finish line; now they can go the distance on a single charge.The Air will start at over $100,000
Rawlinson, left, led the development of Tesla’s Model S before joining Lucid Motors.
David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Making a high-capacity battery pack is just one step in the expensive and complicated process of building an electric vehicle. Some EV startups, like Fisker Inc., plan to pay other companies to handle manufacturing for them. For Rawlinson, the appeal of outsourcing production — avoiding the enormous cost and complexity of building and running an automotive factory — is offset by the risk that the partnership doesn’t work.”You might call me a control freak, but why partner with someone who is less incentivized for success than you are?” Rawlinson said. “If manufacturing fails, the company fails.”Lucid is now installing equipment in its Arizona factory, which Rawlinson said would be able to make 34,000 vehicles annually (Tesla made 364,000 in 2019; Mercedes-Benz made 2.4 million) in its first few years. Rawlinson hopes the company will be making 1 million vehicles a year by 2028, he said.Part of the reason Lucid decided to debut with a luxury sedan — the company will follow the Air with an SUV built on the same platform — was to make it easier to become profitable at lower production volumes. The battery pack is the most expensive part of an EV, and while battery costs have declined rapidly in the past decade, they’re still high enough that Lucid will need to sell the Air at a premium. Rawlinson said the car would start “well north” of $100,000. “We’ve got to be reasonably profitable as an entity in order to attract investment, in order to exist,” Rawlinson said.But Lucid also wants to make the best possible first impression. If Rawlinson is right about the company’s technology and interior design, an expensive car with an incomparable interior experience will provide the best opportunity to show them off.
“We’re creating a car which is going to be the best car in the world,” he said. “People are going to want it.”Are you a current or former Lucid employee? Do you have an opinion about exactly what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected], on Signal at 646-768-4712, or through his encoded email address [email protected]