Electric carmaker Lucid Motors has completed the initial phase of its $ 700 million factory, a necessary milestone to begin production of its first all-electric Air sedan this spring.
The factory, located approximately halfway between Tucson and Phoenix off Interstate 10, has the capacity to produce 30,000 vehicles annually. If Lucid, led by CEO Peter Rawlinson, succeeds in an attempt to attract buyers, that factory will expand from its current 999,000 square feet to more than 5 million square feet. Once fully built, the factory will have the capacity to build 400,000 vehicles per year.
It’s an ambitious plan for a company that has yet to deliver just one vehicle. However, Rawlinson remained optimistic about electric vehicles and Lucid’s future. Lucid is already preparing to resume construction of the next phase of the factory early next year, which will be used to produce its next vehicle, an all-electric SUV in 2023.
The company plans to build the factory, which spans 590 acres, in four phases until 2028.
The completion of the first phase comes about four years since Lucid Motors first announced its intentions to produce electric vehicles. It is a milestone that almost did not happen. As the company burned down capital, it struggled to find new investors. The sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia finally increased in September 2018 and has pledged to invest $ 1 billion in the company.
The all-electric luxury Air sedan, which was revealed in September, has a range of up to 517 miles, depending on the variant, and a design that puts technology and understated luxury at the center.
Two of the four variants – the $ 169,000 flagship Dream edition and a $ 139,000 Grand Touring model – will go into production for the first time at its new factory this year. Deliveries of these variants are expected to begin in spring 2021. Two more variants, a Touring model priced at $ 95,000 and a base model costing less than $ 80,000, are expected in late 2021 and 2022 respectively. are prior to accounting for the $ 7,500 federal tax credit.)
The Air aims to be the electric alternative to the Mercedes Benz S-Class. This means that performance matters a lot to design. and it comes with some mind-blowing performance specs. For example, the Dream Edition boasts 1,080 horsepower and can travel from zero to 60 mph of acceleration in 2.5 seconds. As a result of the power, the Dream Edition has 465 miles of range. Meanwhile, the Grand Touring has 800 horsepower and can achieve the same acceleration in 3 seconds, but has a maximum range of 517 miles.
The Air will also be loaded with 32 sensors, a driver monitoring system, and an Ethernet-based architecture, all for its advanced driver assistance system, designed to support hands-free driving on highways. Inside, a 34-inch curved glass 5K display sits in front of the driver and appears to float above the dashboard. Another central touchscreen is retractable, revealing more storage space. Meanwhile, some physical controls remain on the steering wheel and just above the center screen to control the volume and activate the ADAS and Amazon Alexa, which is built into the vehicle. Underneath that central touchscreen and transition to the console is a spot for inductive charging, cup holders, and USB-C ports, along with additional storage.
To accomplish this, Lucid publicized its design approach and advanced manufacturing process. Lucid says it uses riveted and bonded monocoque body structure instead of spot welds. Most modern vehicles today have a unibody design, which means that the chassis, floor and chassis are made up of a single structure. A monocoque design is typically seen in motorsports with the chassis acting like a skin that gains its strength by distributing tension and compression.