Lucid Motors

Lucid Group, Inc. is an American manufacturer of electric luxury sports cars and grand tourers headquartered in Newark, California. Lucid vehicles are designed in California and manufactured at Lucid’s factory in Arizona. The company was founded in 2007.

The first Lucid vehicle, the Lucid Air, is offered in several trim levels, including the Lucid Air Pure. Other Lucid Air trim levels include the Lucid Air Touring and Grand Touring models, the latter available in Performance equipment level as well. The company’s second model, the Lucid Gravity SUV EV is scheduled to launch in 2024.

Since April 2019, Lucid has been majority-owned by Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

Lucid was founded in 2007 under the name Atieva by former Tesla Motors Vice President Bernard Tse, co-founder of Astoria Networks Sam Weng, and inventor Sheaupyng Lin. The company was originally focused on building electric vehicle batteries and powertrains for other vehicle manufacturers.

Lucid’s CEO and CTO, Peter Rawlinson, formerly served as vice president of engineering and chief engineer of the Model S at Tesla, Inc., and Vice President Derek Jenkins previously worked as head of design at Mazda North American Operations. The company has received investments from Tsing Capital, Mitsui, Venrock, JAFCO, and others.

Atieva was rebranded as Lucid Motors in October 2016 and officially announced its intent to develop an all-electric, high-performance luxury vehicle.

On November 29, 2016, state and company officials announced the planned construction of Lucid’s US$700 million manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, which was projected to employ up to 2,000 workers by the mid-2020s, initially building 20,000 cars and expanding to 130,000 cars per year. The factory was then to be redesigned to support a maximum capacity of 380,000 cars per year. As of November 2016[update], the company had planned to break ground in 2017, and have cars in production by early 2019. The first vehicles rolled off the assembly line on September 28, 2021.

On September 17, 2018, Lucid Motors announced talks with the Public Investment Fund, which is the Saudi Arabian sovereign investment fund, for funding valued at over US$1 billion. The investment was completed in April 2019. The investment will fund: the final engineering and testing of the Lucid Air model; the first-phase construction of its manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona; the commercial production of the Lucid Air; and Lucid’s worldwide retail strategy, beginning in North America. Construction of the plant began in late 2019, and the first phase was completed in December 2020. The second phase construction is ongoing and will increase production capacity from 34,000 to 90,000 vehicles a year. The completed factory (four phases) will have a combined manufacturing capacity of about 400,000 cars per year.

In February 2021, Lucid Motors announced a deal valued at US$11.75 billion to merge with Churchill Capital Corp IV, a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Rawlinson announced Lucid’s intention to produce its Project Gravity SUV by 2023, then offer a competitor to Tesla’s Model 3 by 2024 or 2025.

In July 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Public Investment Fund will own over 60 percent of Lucid when the company goes public. The fund will record a profit of nearly US$20 billion from its 2018 investment.

Lucid began building its first all-electric Lucid Air sedans in Arizona in September 2021, with deliveries beginning in late October. Lucid produced 7,180 vehicles in 2022 after lowering its 2022 production outlook from 20,000 vehicles to 12,000-14,000 vehicles on February 28, 2022, citing supply chain issues, and again to 6,000-7,000 vehicles when it released its Q2 financial results on August 3, 2022

In June 2023, Aston Martin signed an agreement with Lucid to help supply electric motors, powertrains, and battery systems for Aston Martin’s upcoming range of fully electric cars. In return, Aston Martin will make cash payments and issue a 3.7 percent stake in its company to Lucid, worth $232 million in total.

Lucid mainly developed battery technology in its early years, but began development of its first car in 2014.

The company initially used a Mercedes Metris van named “Edna”, to develop the powertrain.

A prototype of the Lucid Air fully electric car was unveiled in December 2016. Lucid Air production was expected to start in spring 2021. In November 2020, The Lucid Air Pure was announced with 406 mi (653 km) of projected range and 480 hp (360 kW) and a starting price of US$77,400. The full range of models includes Lucid Air Touring, Grand Touring, and Dream Edition versions. The top spec cars have an output of over 1,000 hp (750 kW).

On September 16, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated the range of the Lucid Air to be 520 mi (840 km) on a single charge.

Lucid has agreed with Mobileye to use their EyeQ4 chips and eight cameras for driver assist features, and will make the car “autonomous ready”. The 4-door sedan is able to reach a software-limited top speed of 217 mph (349 km/h). In July 2017, while running on the high-speed track at the Transportation Research Center in Ohio, a special version of the car (with the speed limiter disabled via software and other modifications) hit 235 mph (378 km/h).

Lucid is collaborating with Amazon to include Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, allowing drivers to use the voice assistant for navigation, phone calls, media streaming, smart home control, and other activities while driving.

The infotainment system is based on Android Automotive.

A Lucid Air is used by the character of Samantha Margolis in several episodes of season four of the Amazon Studios TV series Goliath.

In September 2021, Lucid released the EPA estimated range for both the Dream Edition Air and Air Grand Touring; the Dream Air had a range of 520 miles on a single charge while the Grand Touring offered 516 miles, making the Dream the longest range of any EV rated by the EPA and the Grand Touring the first to top 400 miles in a test drive.

Lucid Motors unveiled its 2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring model in November 2021. This version of the Air Grand Touring is powered by two electric motors that have a combined 819 hp (611 kW) and 885 lb⋅ft (1,200 N⋅m) of torque.

On May 5, 2022, Lucid announced that it was raising prices of the variants of its luxury Air sedan, beginning June 1, 2022. The price hikes were expected to push the base price of the Air sedan up as much as 13%.

Lucid Air was named Motor Trend’s 2022 Car of the Year, being the first time a brand new car model won the award.

In April 2023, the company began delivering a blacked-out or dark-trimmed ‘Stealth’ Air to customers, following its introduction in August. Also in April 2023, Lucid Air won the 2023 World Luxury Car of the Year award.

Lucid teased an electric SUV concept in September 2020 called Project Gravity with only a brief image and short video segment.: 43:38-44:25  Additional details were found in the patents that Lucid filed for the Gravity. The patents show that the Gravity features sleek headlamps similar to those of the Lucid Air as well as a visibly short hood and a large windscreen. In addition, the patents show that the side of the vehicle has a horizontal beltline as well as a sleek, wide windows, and quarter glass panels.

The Lucid Air will debut with a 900V+ electrical architecture, and custom lithium-ion battery cells. Lucid’s car uses the 2170 standard for its lithium-ion battery cells, and supply agreements have been signed with both Samsung SDI and LG Chem.

Lucid designs, develops, manufactures, and supplies battery packs for gen2 Formula E race teams beginning in the 2018-2019 season through the 2021-2022 racing season, in collaboration with McLaren Applied Technologies and Sony. The Formula E specification calls for a battery weight of 250 kg (550 lb), 54 kWh energy, and peak power of up to 250 kW.

Lucid Motors partnered with Electrify America to use their nationwide charging network as an option for recharging Lucid’s electric vehicles on the road. The Lucid Air will be able to add 300 miles (480 km) in 20 minutes when using the station’s 350 kW charging capability.

In December 2019, Lucid broke ground on a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, the first greenfield facility for EV manufacturing in the United States. On December 1, 2020, Lucid completed factory construction, dubbed AMP-1, and “aims to ramp up to 400,000 electric cars per year.”

The US$700 million facility was expected to begin producing the Lucid Air by spring 2021. The initial phase includes an initial 999,000 square feet (92,800 m2). Phase 2 of construction was expected to begin in early 2021. The land upon which this facility is built is owned by Pinal County, Arizona, who leases the 500-acre (200 ha) plot to Lucid. The land was bought by Pinal County for $29.94 million, which was financed by issuing bonds.

On February 28, 2022, Lucid announced a long-term plan to build a new manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia with the capability of producing 150,000 vehicles per year. Lucid has partnered with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA), The Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), and the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

The Saudi Arabian government announced on April 27, 2022, that it plans to buy at least 50,000 and possibly up to 100,000 electric vehicles from Lucid Motors over the course of a decade. The purchase is part of the government’s effort to reduce its reliance on oil and make its fleet more environmentally friendly. The government selected Lucid Motors because the company is building its first international manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia, with a goal of producing 150,000 cars annually.

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