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Lucid: The history and future of the luxury EV Tesla competitor

Lucid Logo
Lucid Motors
Founded:2007
Founders:Bernard Tse and Sam Weng
Employees2,000+
Headquarters:Newark, California
Manufacturing:Casa Grande, Arizona
IPO:July 26th, 2021
Models:Air
Federal Tax Credit Eligibility:Yes
Lucid Facts

Lucid Mission Statement

To inspire the adoption of sustainable energy by creating the most captivating electric vehicles, centered around the human experience.

History of Lucid

Lucid began back in 2007 under the name Atieva, and originally focused on developing battery systems and powertrains for various types of electric vehicles.  As Atieva, Lucid valued high performance, safe, and durable batteries for motorcycles, sedans, vans, and buses.  Eventually, it had amassed over 50 patents related to is core battery systems in the US alone.

Formerly Atieva

By 2013, the well-established battery company set its sights on larger goals… building a complete electric vehicle.  Shortly after, in 2014, Lucid secured a 9-digit funding round to push them toward their dream.

Two years later, in 2016, the company officially rebranded itself as Lucid Motors.  That same year, plans were announced to construct Lucid’s $700 million AMP-1 manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona. 

Throughout the next few years, Lucid focused on building their factory, acquiring additional funding, and engineering and testing of their first vehicle, the Lucid Air. 

Lucid’s AMP-1 Manufacturing Factory

Lucid AMP-1 Factor

Lucid names their flagship factory AMP-1 after the acronym for Advanced Manufacturing Plant. The factory is planned to be developed in phases, where phase 1 completed in November of 2020.  The phased approach and design of the manufacturing plant allows Lucid to scale their factory as demand and production increases, allowing the EV company to meet future demands. 

Planning for phase 2 of the AMP-1 facility is already in progress.  The expansion will provide more real estate for Lucid to build its upcoming Gravity SUV and increase production capacity to 90,000.

Eventually, Lucid plans to have four total phases for its facility in Casa Grande totaling an estimated 5.1 million square feet with an eventual output of 400,000 vehicles per year. 

Lucid Manufacturing

In addition to AMP-1, Lucid also has a powertrain factory a few miles away.  This is where the automaker manufactures other components such as modules, battery packs, inverters, drive units, and wunderboxes (Lucid’s proprietary charging units.)

Production of the all-electric Lucid Air luxury sedans began at AMP-1 in September 2021, with deliveries starting in late October.  Lucid planned to produce 20,000 vehicles in the first year, but that was cut nearly in half due to supply chain issues following the COVID pandemic.

Where did Lucid get its name?

When the EV company began working with Lexicon branding to help find a name to replace former company name Atieva.  The mission was simple: “We don’t want it to sound like a car.” 

Lexicon worked with their internal teams to find the right name for a company whose mission was to “amaze customers through outstanding performance, beauty, space, and intelligence.”  Finally, after reviewing dozens of potential names, the one that stood out the most was Lucid. 

According to Eric Jackson of Lexicon, “The name does everything we wanted… It certainly does not sound like a car, but gives you a sense of innovation and intelligence which is what Atieva is all about.”

Lucid’s Vision

Lucid aims to develop cars that inspire both the heart and the mind, removing the compromise between an extraordinary experience and responsibility for our planet. 

With their first vehicle, the Air, the electric car company is focusing on the high-end electric vehicle category, with luxury features and long-range battery technology.

How many employees does Lucid have?

In 2022, Lucid has over 3,000 employees, according to reports, with that number expected to double by 2024.

Notable Investors

Tsing Capital, Misui, Venrock, JAFCO.

Lucid Current and Future Vehicles

Lucid Air

Lucid Air 2022 Exterior

The first prototype of the Lucid Air was first unveiled in 2016, with production scheduled to being upon completion of the Casa Grande factory.  Eventually, the Air prototype began to turn heads when it beat a Tesla Model S head-to-head in a quarter-mile race, clocking in at 9.9 seconds. 

After years of engineering, the Air earned MotorTrend Car of the Year award in 2022, recognized by its unrivaled combination of efficiency, performance, and luxury with EV powertrain technology developed and manufactured entirely in-house.

Lucid Air 2022

Some notable features that come standard or are optionally available for most Air models:

Design
  • Largest frunk and glass canopy
Performance
  • Up to 1,111 max power
  • Up to 520 miles range
  • DreamDrive advanced driver assistance system
Connectivity
  • 34-inch 5K Glass Cockpit display
  • Over-the-air software updates
  • 21-speaker Surreal Sound system
  • Alexa-enabled voice commands
Charging
  • 20 minutes approximately for 300-mile charge
  • Ultrafast 900V+ charging system
  • 2,400+ chargers through Electrify America
  • Bi-directional charging capabilities
Lucid Air Interior

The Lucid Air will eventually be available in 4 model trims: Dream Edition, Grand Touring, Touring, and Pure. 

Lucid Air Dream Edition

Lucid Motors is no longer taking reservations for the exclusive Dream Edition.  These were limited edition models that came in Performance and Range versions. 

These limited production models celebrate the launch of the Lucid Air — and the start of the Lucid vision for advancing luxury electric vehicles. Lucid claims they may never produce another Lucid Air quite like it but are still accepting reservations for the waitlist.

Lucid Air Grand Touring, Touring, Pure

The Grand Touring is the next highest end version of the Air, followed by the Touring and Pure as the base model.

 Dream PerformanceDream RangeGrand TouringTouringPure
MotorsDual Motor, AWDDual Motor, AWDDual Motor, AWDDual Motor, AWDSingle Motor, RWD
Optional Dual Motor, AWD
Power (Total)1,111 hp933 hp800 hp620 hp480 hp
Torque (Total)1000+ Nm1000+ Nm   
0-60 MPH2.5 seconds2.7 seconds3.0 seconds3.2 secondsN/A
Top Speed168 mph168 mph168 mph  
TiresSpecially developed Pirelli P-Zero:
245/35” (F) and 265/35 21” (R) 19” optional
Specially developed Pirelli P-Zero:
245/45 19” (F&R)
21” optional
21” Aero Blade
20” Aero Lite 19” Aero Range
21” Aero Blade
20” Aero Lite 19” Aero Range
20” Aero Lite 19” Aero Range
System Voltage924V924V   
RangeUp to 471 milesUp to 520 milesUp to 516 milesUp to 406 milesUp to 406 miles
Price$169,000$169,000From $139,000From $95,000From $77,000
*Prices do not include fees, taxes, rebates, federal tax credit, or local/government incentives

Project Gravity

Project Gravity is Lucid’s future luxury SUV and is scheduled to arrive in 2024. Currently, not much is known about the future SUV, but some prototypes and teasers have been released. You can join the waitlist here.

Lucid Project Gravity

What else is Lucid working on?

Batteries

As earlier mentioned, Lucid got its start as a high-performance battery company, helping to give it a head start on the claim for longest range battery for all EVs. 

The Lucid Air is the first electric vehicle to break the 500-mile barrier for EV range, with the EPA giving the official certification in September 2021.  The EPA officially certified ranges of 516 and 520 miles for two “Dream Edition” versions of the 2022 Lucid Air.  

Using a 900-volt battery, while the industry standard had been 400 volts, allowed Lucid to eventually reduce the size and weight of many electrical components, and propel it to the industry leader in range. 

Lucid battery

Charging

Lucid Motors partnered with Electrify America to use their nationwide charging network for recharging Lucid’s electric vehicles.  The Lucid Air can add an impressive 300 miles of distance on a 20-minute charge.  In January 2022, Lucid pleased its customers when it announced an additional 3-year unlimited free charging offer for new Lucid customers, on the Electrify America network.

Lucid History with Saudi Arabia

Going back to September of 2018, when Lucid Motors was still seeking funding to get production going, they announced that they were in talks with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) regarding a funding investment of over $1 billion.

Lucid used this funding to help complete the final engineering and testing of the Lucid Air model, fund the phase 2 of AMP-1, begin commercial production of Lucid Air, and build out their retail strategy.  The deal was completed in April of 2019.

Lucid Motors HQ

The long-term relationship between Lucid and PIF finally materialized into an agreement to begin operations in Saudi Arabia.

Agreements were announced by Lucid in February 2022 to eventually bring their advanced automotive manufacturing to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Saudi Arabia to address global demand, after years of rumors surrounding Lucid building a plant in Saudi Arabia. 

Lucid plans to establish operations at KAEC for re-assembly of Lucid Air vehicle “kits” that are pre-manufactured at the company’s Casa Grande facility in Arizona, and over time, for production of complete vehicles.  The company plans to manufacture up to 150,000 vehicles per year at the KAEC facility.  Construction is expected to start in early 2022. 

“The U.S. government welcomes Saudi Arabia’s effort to diversify its economy and fight climate change,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Martina Strong, the head of the U.S. Mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “This announcement shows it can do both, through partnership and engagement with innovative American companies.”