After we spent some time with the Lucid Air earlier this year, we determined that Lucid Motors could very well be a force for good in the EV industry and not simply a pale Tesla clone, but the biggest question mark remained its ability to produce the vehicle.
We now learn that Lucid is currently raising a Series D financing round in order to start construction at its $700 million electric vehicle factory in Arizona.
Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson confirmed the news in an interview with the Motley Fool this week:
“Lucid is currently working to secure its Series D financing round; once the funding is secured, then Lucid will break ground in the Grand Canyon state.”
We were told in February that the company was aiming to be able to start production 24 months after breaking ground at the plant, which should give us a timeline when they announce the closing of the financing round. There’s still a chance they could be ready in 2019 as originally announced.
Rawlinson told the Motley Fool that the first phase of the plant would cost around $240 million:
“Instead, the manufacturing facility will have three phases, the first of which is expected to cost $240 million. That should allow the company to ramp up to producing about 8,000 to 10,000 vehicles per year, with production commencing in 2019. Only after all three stages are completed (expected around 2022 if all goes well) will the total investment reach $700 million.”
We are optimistic that Lucid will be able to raise the money. Some have been under the impression that they have the same financial problems as Faraday Future (FF), another California-based electric vehicle startup, because they share Jia Yueting’s LeEco as an investor and he has been having some liquidity problems.
But LeEco is FF’s main financial backer while the Chinese electronic firm only has a minority stake in Lucid.
Lucid already took large investments from deep pocket firms, like Venrock in California and Mitsui & Co in Japan. When Lucid was still called ‘Atieva’, BAIC, the Chinese state-owned car company, was its largest investors, but the company now claims that BAIC sold its stake last year without disclosing who bought it.
Whoever bought this 25% stake, they will likely be pushing for the new round of financing since it appears to be essential for Lucid to bring its vehicle to market and start bringing in some revenue.
Last month, the company announced an aggressive $60,000 base price for its luxury all-electric sedan with 240 miles of range configuration. If they can really reach that price point, they are likely to carve themselves a place in the segment