Lucid Motors Overview Updated July 16, 2021

Lucid Motors: The past, present, and future of the EV automaker

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80 'Lucid Motors' stories

October 2016 - July 2021

Lucid Motors History

Formerly known as Atieva, Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 and is based in Newark, California, near Silicon Valley. As Atieva, Lucid was originally focused on developing batteries and electric powertrains for other vehicle manufacturers. Eventually, it had accumulated over 50 patents pertaining to its core battery system in the US alone.

Atieva

By 2013, the company was a highly capable producer of connected battery packs and electric powertrains and began flirting with the idea of developing a car of its own. That is when Peter Rawlinson joined the team as Chief Technology Officer. Previously, Rawlinson has been the VP of Vehicle Engineering and Chief Engineer of the Model S at Tesla.

In 2014, Lucid garnered a nine-digit round of funding to develop its own complete vehicle. This included investments from companies like Venrock, Mitsui, and JAFCO — all of which remain investors today. According to Lucid’s website, the Atieva team then built a custom, 900 HP powertrain test vehicle. It remained ordinary looking from its exterior to stay unrecognized but could reach 60 mph in ~3 seconds with “a driving range that well exceeds today’s range limitations.”

Becoming Lucid Motors

In October of 2016, the company officially announced its intent to rebrand itself as Lucid Motors. Furthermore, the nascent automaker announced plans to produce an all-electric luxury vehicle.

A month later, Lucid officials, along with state officials from Arizona, announced plans for the automaker to break ground in Casa Grande on a $700 million purpose-built facility sitting on a 590-acre footprint. The first in North America.

Lucid AMP-1 Factory

Lucid calls this flagship factory AMP-1, an acronym for Advanced Manufacturing Plant. It is here that the company has developed and will produce its flagship EV, the Lucid Air sedan.

According to the automaker’s website, the factory design was implemented with a “future-ready” strategy in mind. According to Lucid’s VP of manufacturing, Peter Hochholdinger:

As we add new platforms and vehicles to our lineup, the planning that went into this facility ensures that we will always be able to keep up with growing customer demand for advanced electric vehicles.

That leeway to expand is apparent in footage of Lucid Motors’ new factory and hearing what substantial plans it has for the future. Phase 1, which was completed in November of 2020, has begun production on the Air sedan. It can currently build 34,000 vehicles per year.

Lucid Motors Factory Phase 1
Phase one of Lucid Motor’s AMP-1 facility

In addition to AMP-1, Lucid also has a powertrain factory about six miles up the road. This location manufactures modules, battery packs, inverters, drive units, and wunderboxes (Lucid’s unique charging units). After manufacturing, these components come to AMP-1 for final assembly.

Lucid is already preparing for phase 2 of the AMP-1 facility. This expansion will provide further space for the automaker to build its upcoming Gravity SUV. Furthermore, vehicle production is expected to increase from 34,000 to 90,000.

This increase could also assist Lucid in its goal of delivering Air sedans to Europe in the first half of 2022. Phase 2, aka “Project Gravity,” is slated to break ground at the end of 2021, and complete in summer 2023.

Lucid Motors plans to have four total phases for its Casa Grande facility totaling an estimated 5.1 million square feet and an eventual output of 400,000 vehicles per year.

Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia

In September of 2018, Lucid Motors revealed it was in talks with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) regarding a funding investment of over $1 billion.

Lucid said it planned to use the huge round of funding to complete the final engineering and testing of the Lucid Air model, fund the first-phase construction of the aforementioned AMP-1 facility, begin commercial production of the Lucid Air, and implement a worldwide retail strategy. This deal was completed in April of 2019.

Soon, news began to surface that the Saudi investment was apparently contingent on Lucid establishing a manufacturing presence in the country. Bloomberg reports:

“Lucid raised more than $1 billion from the PIF in 2018, an investment that was conditional on the firm developing a site in Saudi Arabia, the people said. King Abdullah Economic City is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Jeddah, the country’s second-biggest city.”

The report states that the electric vehicle company is now discussing building a factory near the city of Jeddah:

“Lucid Motors Inc. is in talks with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to build an electric vehicle factory potentially near the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The report states that the plan could still change and that Lucid is looking at other locations.

Most Expensive electric vehicles

Lucid Motors’ SPAC Merger

In 2019, Lucid Motors named Peter Rawlinson CEO of the company, while he also maintained his previous role of CTO. Toward the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, rumors began to swirl about Lucid Motors working behind closed doors on a SPAC merger with Churchill Capital Group IV ($CCIV).

In late February, Lucid finally confirmed the rumors and announced the deal, which will be bringing $4.4 billion in cash to Lucid at a $24 billion valuation. Here are the highlights of the deal:

  • Transaction provides additional growth capital as Lucid brings the over 500-mile range Lucid Air luxury electric sedan to market and expands rapidly to offer a broad range of electric vehicle products powered by Lucid’s proprietary electric powertrain technology.
  • CCIV and Lucid are combining at a transaction equity value of $11.75 billion.
  • The transaction includes an approximately $2.1 billion cash contribution by CCIV and a $2.5 billion fully committed PIPE with an investor lock-up provision that binds holders well beyond closing. The PIPE is priced at $15 per share (a 50% premium to CCIV’s net asset value) with an implied pro forma equity value of $24 billion.
  • PIPE investment anchored by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) as well as funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research LLC, Franklin Templeton, Neuberger Berman, Wellington Management, and Winslow Capital Management.
  • This transaction includes the largest-ever SPAC-related common stock PIPE.
  • Lucid currently employs nearly 2,000 people, with 3,000 employees expected to be added in the US domestically by the end of 2022.

Current and future Lucid Motors EVs

While Lucid Motors has made huge strides in the past several years, it still has yet to deliver its flagship EV, the Lucid Air sedan. While the debut version of the Air called the Dream Edition was originally scheduled to begin deliveries in spring of 2021, Lucid Motors delayed its availability to a more broad timeline of “the second half of 2021.”

This move came with some controversy as the delay was announced shortly after the SPAC merger with CCIV, especially since CEO Peter Rawlinson had relayed that production was on track just weeks earlier. Rawlinson relayed that the delay was at the advice of CCIV, who told the automaker to take its time in delivering the first round of Air sedans to ensure they were top quality.

While consumers still wait in anticipation of the first Air sedans to deliver, Lucid has offered no updates as to when reservation holders might see one. Since then Lucid Motors has shared more details of what customers can expect on the upcoming Air. This should get you up to speed:

The automaker has also teased a second production model — an electric SUV called the Gravity.

over the air updates
The Lucid Air Dream Edition

Lucid Air

The Air was first unveiled in 2016 as a prototype, with production to begin once the Casa Grande facility had been completed. In 2018, the Lucid prototype began to make headlines by smoking the lap times of production vehicles like Jaguar’s I-Pace at the Laguna Seca course.

Next, the Air prototype beat a Tesla Model S head to head in a quarter-mile race, clocking in at 9.9 seconds. Not to be outdone, Lucid’s tri-motor Air then beat the Tesla Model S Plaid prototypes track record at Laguna Seca. While Tesla eventually regained the crown of the fastest production vehicle, the performance from Lucid turned some heads and helped the automaker gain fanfare.

As the Air sedan moves closer to mass production at its new AMP-1 facility, there are four variations planned to deliver over the course of the next year. Here is a breakdown of some of their specs, sorted by anticipated delivery.

Lucid Air Model EPA est. Range HP Price* Availability
Dream Edition 503 mi. 1,080 $169,000 2nd half 2021
Grand Touring 517 mi. 800 $139,000 2nd half 2021
Touring 406 mi. 620 $95,000 2nd half 2021
Pure 406 mi. 480 $77,400 Early 2022
* Prices do no include any taxes, fees, or federal tax rebates
tesla SUV alternative
Lucid’s upcoming “Project Gravity” SUV

Lucid Gravity

At the end of a reveal video of the Lucid Air sedan, CEO Peter Rawlinson stepped off camera to reveal an SUV in the background. This was one of the public’s first glimpses of its second planned production vehicle, an SUV called “Project Gravity.”

Since then, few further details have been shared since the Gravity is not a production EV yet. However, discovered patent images closely mimic the concept Lucid has previously teased.

Several patent images filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) show what a production Gravity may soon look like.

Lucid Motors
Side view of the Lucid Gravity concept vs. patent

Lucid Motors Stories July 26

Lucid Motors has opened the mystery boxes that began popping up around NYC last week to reveal its upcoming Air sedan. The move is a kickoff to an ad campaign celebrating the recently approved SPAC merger with Churchill Capital Corp. IV (CCIV) to build hype around the flagship EV from Lucid set to deliver sometime this year.

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Lucid Motors Stories July 23

After days of both sides rallying stockholders to exercise their vote, the SPAC merger between Lucid Motors and Churchill Capital Corp IV (CCIV) has been approved. The closing of this long-anticipated merger is expected to close later today, and Lucid Motors is expected to trade on Nasdaq next week under the ticker symbol “LCID.”

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Lucid Motors Stories July 16

Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli has announced a new high load (HL) index tire that will make its debut on the upcoming Lucid Air sedan. This HL tire was designed specifically for electric cars and SUVs to support heavier weight from batteries while maintaining a low rolling resistance.

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Lucid Motors Stories July 14

Lucid Motors has just shared details of its new vehicle service program called Lucid Care, along with anticipated details surrounding the warranty for new vehicles like the Air sedan. The luxury EV automaker plans to handle most maintenance through a fleet of mobile repair vans that come to you, wherever you are.

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Lucid Motors Stories July 2

Electric vehicles are booming. Shortened supply chains, making parts in-house, and advanced battery technologies have significantly helped manufacturers lower the costs of their electric vehicles. Consumers may soon see multiple EVs for sale under $30,000, which is exciting. But let’s forget about all of that promise right now, and visit the other end of the spectrum. What are some of the most expensive electric vehicles you can buy? Below is a list of what’s currently out there, and what EVs will soon be available for big bucks.

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Lucid Motors Stories June 23

Lucid Motors confirmed that it now has over 10,000 reservations for the Air, its first car and a luxury electric sedan.

It might not sound as impressive as numbers of reservations in some other programs, but it’s actually not bad.

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Lucid Motors Stories May 26

In anticipation of the imminent, yet cloudy delivery date of the Air sedan, Lucid Motors has shared video footage and new details of its User Experience, or UX. This in-depth look at Lucid UX offers a first look at several unique technologies implemented within a sleek design to match the rest of the Air… whenever it becomes available.

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Lucid Motors Stories March 31

Lucid Motors has yet to offer a more specific timeline of when customers might see first deliveries of its flagship Air sedan. Despite some frustration, or perhaps impatience is a better word, the anticipation around the Lucid Air continues to swell. To stay on the top of people’s minds (and your home page), Lucid has released another behind-the-scenes look at its AMP-1 facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.

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Lucid Motors Stories March 29

In a lawsuit filed in Cook County Court, Illinois, Rivian and Lucid Motors are being sued for their direct-to-consumer business model. The suit also lists Illinois secretary of state Jesse White as a defendant. It claims his office “has abandoned its enforcement role.”

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Lucid Motors Stories March 22

Lucid Motors announced today that it has sold out the first version of its upcoming Air electric sedan: the Dream Edition.

Though, it’s not clear how many vehicles they are talking about…

Update: Lucid has since confirmed it only plans to produce “about 500 Air Dream Editions”.

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