Lucid Motors BOLD ATTEMPT To Beat Tesla in 2021
Since coming to dominate the electric vehicle marketplace, a number of competitors to Tesla have emerged. One of these major competitors is the company known as Lucid Motors. Who are they?
Lucid Motors Background
Founded in 2007 under the name Atieva, Lucid Motors does not actually have an electric car for sale yet! In 2020 they made waves, however, when they announced the production of a new car known as the Lucid Air Dream and prototypes being made for an electric SUV. Before planning to enter the EV market, Lucid originally focused on building electric vehicle batteries and powertrains for other companies that now will be their competitors. This plan to develop EV’s themselves was announced in 2016 when the name change from Atieva to Lucid Motors occurred. As recently as In February 2021, Lucid Motors announced a deal valued at $11.75 billion to merge with Churchill Capital Corp IV and shared how it had the intention to produce its Project Gravity SUV by 2023, then offer a competitor to Tesla's Model 3 by 2024 or 2025. Lucid Motors has big plans, but how will they actually go about making all these vehicles?
The Casa Grande, Arizona Factory
In November of 2016, Lucid Motors bought land for the construction of a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. Ground was broken in 2017 and it is now fully functional. It cost about 700 million to build and in February of this year, CNBC was allowed to take a peek into the factory. Lucid Motor’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, gave CNBC a tour. The tour involved showing-off the preproduction process for upcoming Lucid vehicles. It was discussed how the cars were basically, “A computer on wheels,” as they were so high-tech. Rawlinson admitted everything was currently in, “Phase 1,” which is focused on prouducing Lucid’s first car, with phase 2 being the Gravity SUV, and further theoretical phases doubling the size of the factory to allow the production of high-volume cards to compete with the upcoming Tesla models that will be lower-cost to appeal to a more general market. A factory with all the phases complete would be 5 million square feet, but right now Lucid Motors needs to focus on getting its first vehicle, the Lucid Air Dream to market. With not even a single product out yet, the big question becomes if Lucid can truly compete with Tesla?
Can Lucid Compete With Tesla?
Lucid Motors knows a lot about electric vehicles, that cannot be debated. Since their founding as Atieva, they have worked to create powerful and effective batteries for electric vehicles that have served other companies well. There is more to an electric car than its battery, however. Lucid Motors needs to have designed an entire car from basically the ground-up and created an operating system that can compete with Tesla’s version in the marketplace. To Lucid’s credit, they are starting with a focus on the luxury market, emphasizing their car is for those who don’t flinch at a higher price tag. This is basically how Tesla got its start before beginning to focus on more of a mass-market. Lucid Motors is launching with a luxury focus, then creating an electric SUV as that market has become immensely popular. Then, and only then, do they want to put funds towards trying to compete with Tesla’s more immediate focus, a mass-market that wants a less-expensive electric vehicle option. This is smart but carries risks too. After all, Tesla started-out in the luxury market and has perfected its expertise in it. Tesla knows luxury vehicles. It makes the cars, the software, the batteries, and you can go buy a Tesla right now and see the proof driving-by that they’re the leader in this field. Lucid Motors doesn’t have a car for sale right now. They have an impressive factory, they have a number of big deals in place, and they clearly know batteries, but can they compete with Tesla? We don’t know, because we don’t have any proof to show that yes, they can, or no, they can’t. Right now everything is theoretical until the cars roll off the line and can be purchased by consumers.
Lucid Motors--Immense Potential and Even Greater Risk
Lucid Motors is a bit like Tesla in its early days--full of potential but unproven. Tesla has since its creation shown it knows what it is doing when it comes to impressive electric vehicles. Lucid Motors has not yet been able to prove if it can back-up its big claims. Based on what Lucid has shown to the general public and entities such as CNBC, they clearly have big plans. Should these plans come to fruition and Lucid Motors’ first car is a big success, they will be able to continue building-out their factory and building-up more cars and SUVs. However, should Lucid Motors create a subpar vehicle that fails in the marketplace, then all their planning will be for naught as they may end-up losing any financial backing. Lucid Motors has the opportunity to succeed but carries a very real risk of failure as well.