The big picture: Electric automaker Lucid Motors this week announced intentions to unveil its first production automobile, the Lucid Air, in New York this April. That could be bad news for Tesla, a company that has done extremely well for itself in recent memory, but is viewed as nothing outside of a positive for the industry as a whole.
Lucid was founded in 2007 as Atieva, focusing primarily on building powertrains and batteries for other electric vehicle makers. In late 2016, the company rebranded as Lucid and set about developing its own EV. As Faraday Future’s outlook started to look less certain, Lucid emerged as a potential frontrunner to challenge Tesla in the rapidly materializing electric auto market.
The $1 billion investment it landed from Saudi Arabia didn’t hurt matters, either.
Lucid said it is in the process of building 80 prototypes of the Lucid Air at its Silicon Valley headquarters. These vehicles, said to be highly representative of the final production model, will be used for exhaustive testing of traction and stability controls, braking and steering systems, chassis and body tuning and in crash testing.
The company is hard at work building out its production facility in Casa Grande, Arizona, as well. Lucid said most of the structural steel will be in place by the end of February. The hope is that the first pre-production models will start rolling off the assembly line early in the fourth quarter followed by mass production by the end of the year.
Interested parties can reserve their own Lucid Air with a $1,000 deposit.