CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — US startup Lucid Group Inc. said on Tuesday it will begin offering luxury electric sedans with a Tesla-beating driving range in late October, posing a major challenge to the market leader whose premium models Sales have stopped.
California-based Lucid began production of the long-delayed Lucid Air cars at its Arizona factory on Tuesday, and said it aims to increase the plant’s capacity to 90,000 vehicles per year over the next two years.
The top-end Lucid Air Dream Edition will be available in late October, followed by less expensive models: Grand Touring, Touring and Air Pure. The company said it has received over 13,000 reservations for the Lucid Air model, and has increased total production of the Lucid Air Dream Edition to 520 vehicles.
A variant of the Lucid Air Dream Edition, priced at $169,000, received an official US government rating of 520-mile (837 km) driving range, which is 100 miles more than its closest competitor, Tesla’s Model S, which costs $89. is 990. The higher range helped Lucid shares jump 23 percent this month.
Speaking on the production site, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla Model S chief engineer, said that his company’s cars have the advantage of battery technology and cost compared to the Model S.
“We have plagued customers with the fear of border anxiety,” he said. “The next big hurdle is the cost effectiveness of electric cars. We have to reduce costs.”
The Air Pure, the least expensive version with a price tag of $77,400, will go into production at the end of next year, he said.
The company, founded in 2007, received funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in 2018 before going public through a shell company in July.
“(20)17 and (20)18 were cruel. The company was in a dilapidated condition. And then I must say, we met a perfect partner,” he said.
Rollinson, who left Tesla in 2012, faces similar tasks to Tesla in its early days, including solving manufacturing challenges and ramping up production.
“I think the big challenge for Lucid will be execution,” said Sam Abuelsamid, a principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “I think they have a great car. It’s very attractive.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in June that Tesla had scrapped its plans to launch the Model S Plaid+, which has a target driving range of 520 miles, adding that the Model S Plaid itself “is just that good”. “
Musk reiterated this month that “production is tough.”
“Production with positive cash flow is extremely difficult,” he said, citing the carmaker’s razor-thin margins.
Tesla’s Model S and Model X luxury models combined sales stood at just 1,890 in the second quarter of this year, up from 22,300 during the same period three years ago. Tesla doesn’t reveal figures for the two high-end models.
“The Model S doesn’t look fundamentally different from a Model S nine years ago,” Abuelsamid said. “In the premium market, customers are looking for the latest and greatest.”
Musk cut the price of its Model S in October 2020, shortly after Lucid announced the pricing of its base model. “The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled,” he tweeted at the time.
Amazon.com Inc. Electric vehicle maker Rivian, backed by and now preparing for a public stock listing, began production of the electric pickup truck earlier this month. The move came ahead of similar expected moves by Tesla, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.
by Hyunju Jinyu
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times