California-based Lucid is nearly ready to introduce the Air, an electric sedan that recently, unofficially tested at a range of up to 517 miles on a single charge. All of the technology packed under the sheetmetal was developed in-house by the brand, and it’s modular enough to underpin a full range of electric models, according to its CEO.
Lucid is devoting a considerable amount of time, energy, and resources into bringing the Air to production. Next in line is a high-riding model whose name hasn’t been announced yet. Company boss Peter Rawlinson (who previously worked as Tesla’s chief engineer) told Green Car Reports the SUV will be about as long as the Air.
“I can confirm we’re doing an SUV off the Air platform, and I’m going to put that into production in early 2023,” he said. “That is really, really important because we need economies of scale to grow the business,” he added.
So far, Lucid’s product plan sounds a lot like the average electric car startup’s, minus many of the pompous announcements we’ve come to associate with a lot of players in this arena. Looking ahead, the technology packed into the Air and the SUV will permeate a smaller, more affordable model aimed at the mass market. Whether Lucid’s definition of “mass-market” is more aligned with Tesla’s or Dacia’s is up in the air.
Rawlinson stressed anything is possible when it comes to expanding into new segments, and he hinted he may follow Tesla, Ford, Rivian, GMC, Chevrolet, Bollinger, Lordstown, Fisker, and possibly even Ram into the electric pickup segment. “If we want to make a longer vehicle, like a pickup or something like that — which we may want to make in the future — the paint shop is future-proofed for pickups,” he told Green Car Reports.
Asked if Lucid would consider making cars for other companies, like Rivian and Volkswagen have set out to do with varying degrees of success, Rawlinson ruled it out categorically. He won’t even consider an offer.
“No, absolutely not. Nobody’s going to do that; it’s a pie in the sky. This notion that they’re just going to outsource the manufacturing … is absurd. I know Lucid’s got the best technology. I want to make the best technology benefit to all mankind. Why would I make someone else’s vehicle?”
Lucid planned to introduce the Air in New York City in April 2020, but it delayed the model’s unveiling due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Its global debut is now scheduled for September 9. Production of pre-production prototypes will start in August 2020 in the factory Lucid is nearly done building in Casa Grande, Arizona, and customer deliveries will presumably start in the coming months. Pricing will start in the vicinity of $100,000.