EV start-up Lucid begins production of flagship Air sedan ahead of customer deliveries

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  • Electric vehicle start-up Lucid on Tuesday said it has begun production of its first cars for customers, with deliveries scheduled to begin at the end of next month.
  • The Lucid, which went public in July through a SPAC deal, is seen as a rival to EV leader Tesla.
  • Lucid’s first car is a $169,000 special edition of its flagship sedan called the Air Dream Edition. Prices for the entry-level model will start at $77,400.

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Electric vehicle start-up Lucid on Tuesday said it is in the process of producing its first cars for customers, with deliveries slated to begin at the end of next month.

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Lucid is the first EV start-up that went public through the SPAC deal to actually produce a marketable vehicle for consumers. The milestone is significant for Lucid, which debuted on the Nasdaq in July and is seen as a rival to EV leader Tesla.

“I am delighted that production cars with this level of efficiency are currently rolling off our factory line,” Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, Tesla’s former chief engineer and vice president of engineering, said in a statement.

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According to the EPA, Lucid’s first car is a $169,000 special edition of its flagship sedan, called the Air Dream Edition, with an industry-leading range of up to 520 miles. The company plans to produce only the 520 Dream Edition model, in line with the EPA range of cars.

Pricing for the entry-level version of the car, the Lucid Air sedan, starts at $77,400 before the $7,500 federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles.

Lucid said it has received a total of over 13,000 reservations so far.

According to an investor presentation, the company told investors in July that it expected to produce 20,000 Lucid air sedans in 2022, generating more than $2.2 billion in revenue.

Lucid is manufacturing the Air at a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. It is building a multi-billion dollar facility, the first greenfield EV plant in the US, in phases on a 590-acre site. The facility is expected to produce an SUV called the Gravity in 2023.

Lucid was founded in 2007 as Atieva, a name it now uses for its engineering and technical arm that supplies batteries to Formula E, the electric racing circuit. The company focused on electric battery technology before changing its name and moving to an electric vehicle manufacturer in 2016. Three years after joining the company, Rawlinson went on to lead its technology development before becoming CEO.

Lucid had some difficulty obtaining capital to fund its plans until September 2018, when it received $1 billion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. According to FactSet, it remains the company’s largest shareholder with approximately 62% of the outstanding shares.

The automaker is one of a bunch of EV start-ups to go public in the past year or so. Others include Faraday Future, Canu, Fisker and Lordstown Motors. No one has made a vehicle marketable to consumers.

Amazon-backed EV start-up Rivian began production of its first vehicle, a pickup called the R1T, at a factory in Normal, Illinois, two weeks after Lucid began production.

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