It's only been three years after unveiling its first car.
A question we find ourselves asking a lot lately is: When does a company stop being a startup? In this case, Lucid Motors has been around since 2007. Based in Newark, California, it was originally called Atieva and focused on building electric vehicle batteries and powertrains for other automotive manufacturers. In 2016, Atieva rebranded as Lucid Motors and announced it was developing a high-performance luxury level and all-electric car. To fund the building of its planned factory in Arizona, Lucid acquired $1 billion of Saudi money as well as investment from Venrock, Sumitomo, and JAFCO.
With the cash secured, Lucid has now finally broken ground on its Arizona production facility to build the Air, Lucid's sedan with a claimed 400-mile range and 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. Also touted by Lucid for the Air is a roomy cabin, air-suspension system, advanced voice recognition capability, and, later on, autonomous driving functionality enabled via over-the-air software updates... Stop us if you've heard this before.
The Air doesn't look too much like a Model S, though, and is projected to cost $52,500 after tax incentives. According to Lucid, it will deliver "superior comfort, a better user interface and better performance than comparably priced BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes."
Grading of the land in Casa Grande started in September, and workers are now shoring up the foundations and "drilling and forming the caissons that will provide the structural foundation of the facility." It sounds optimistic to us, but Lucid expects to be building the Air at the facility in 2020. However, that $1 billion in funding from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia should help hurry things along and make sure Lucid doesn't find itself having to build cars in a tent.