Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Lucid Motors Air electric car scheduled for late 2020 production


This time next year, there could be yet another startup electric car on the market. This time, it's Lucid Motors, which has been silent since showing its Air luxury EV back in 2016.
It appears things are picking up steam. The company said on Monday it plans to put the Air into production in late 2020. Further, construction has started on a production facility in Casa Grande, Arizona. Lucid said this initial construction period reflects a $300 million investment in the area.
Once cash-strapped, Lucid found an investor this past April. Now, the startup is flush with $1 billion, thanks to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund. Since the company is private, it was not made public what terms were attached to the substantial injection of cash, but it's likely the Saudi fund gained a majority stake in the company.
"With supportive investors, an outstanding team of designers and engineers, and a product strategy that extends well beyond the Air, we expect today to be just the start of a longstanding presence in this dynamic city," Peter Rawlinson, Lucid Motors CEO, said of the ground-breaking this week.
If all goes as planned, Lucid believes it will create 4,800 new jobs, directly and indirectly from the plant, by 2029. By the mid-2020s, the company said it will invest $700 million in the area.
As for its first car, the Air will possibly have up to 1,000 horsepower and a 400-mile estimated electric range. A lower-spec model will likely come with a lesser 400 hp and 240-mile estimated range. The company has floated a starting price of $60,000 in the past and promised the electric sedan will implement the latest self-driving technologies.
The sedan launch comes as EV startups quickly turn to utility vehicles for marketshare. Tesla's Cybertruck is, obviously, a grand example. Elsewhere, legacy automakers will challenge the prospects of fledgling startups like Lucid. GM plans for 20 electric cars by 2023; Ford has its Mustang Mach-E ready for production next year and Volkswagen will launch its first electric SUV in America next year. And if there's anything Tesla has shown in this past decade, it's that building cars from scratch is hard.
Of all the archetypes on your gift list this year, the car enthusiast in your life might be the hardest to find the perfect gift for, especially at a price that won't drive you to file for bankruptcy -- after all, it's probably unlikely that you will be buying them a vehicle that they'll actually be driving or racing, which is what they really want.
Car nuts can be notoriously difficult to assess when it comes to buying for them. They're often super passionate about the automotive hobby, which can mean two things: One, they already have nearly everything they need; and two, what they don't currently possess can be perfect budget busters. Are you going to take out a home-equity loan to purchase, say, a supercharger kit for your buddy's fifth-generation Camaro SS ? Didn't think so…
Further, practical car gifts like a flashlight, microfiber towels, a car care kit, a seatbelt cutter, a tire inflator or even nifty new car mats are probably all already sitting on a workbench in the garage. (That's not to say any of these items wouldn't make a great gift, but maybe not for a gear head.)
So what to do? The good news is, you don't have to spend a fortune to give a great gift to your favorite gearhead. The Roadshow staff has compiled a list of solid options, each priced at less than $100. Some are even far more affordable that, so you don't even have to part with an entire C-note to show your love.

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