The EV startup revealed its first vehicle, the Tesla Model S-rivaling Air, but it has bigger plans to take on Tesla.
First came the Lucid Air electric sedan, then the Gravity SUV made a surprise debut. What's next on startup Lucid's radar? A Tesla Model 3 rival. In an interview published by Reuters Tuesday, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson says the company wants to produce an affordable electric car to rival the EV industry's golden child by 2025 at the latest. A Lucid spokesperson clarified with Roadshow, however, that this timeframe is much more about starting the engineering process for what it calls "Platform II." This future architecture will, one day, underpin a Model 3 challenger.
Still, this strategy is very much in the some vein as Tesla. Rawlinson knows a thing or two about Tesla's strategy; he's a former Tesla engineer and helped create the Model S. The Air sedan will serve as a halo vehicle, while the Gravity scoops up potential luxury electric SUV buyers. Then, with manufacturing likely humming along in Arizona, it will expand into mainstream vehicles.
Speaking of Lucid manufacturing, the process was supposed to kick off this spring, but a recently announced deal to take the company public will delay production of the Air until later this year. The Air will launch first in "Dream Edition" trim, which sports a range of 517 miles, according to Lucid and independent testing. It packs two electric motors to make 1,080 horsepower, a 113 kilowatt-hour battery pack and a $169,000 price tag. Following it will be less expensive versions. Eventually, the base car will start at $80,000, but it's not yet clear when it will enter production.
The Gravity SUV should follow the Air, though Lucid remains tight-lipped on vehicle specifics. With the company gearing up for Air production, the Gravity in development and looking toward a Model 3 rival, this decade is shaping up to be a busy one for the company. There's a big question, though: Will other automakers beat Lucid to the punch with an affordable EV?