Lucid Motors Overview Updated April 28, 2021

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

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74 'Lucid Motors' stories

October 2016 - May 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.

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

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. Lucid Motors has, however, 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 Summer 2021
Touring 406 mi. 620 $95,000 Late 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, not many further details have been made since the Gravity is not a production EV yet. However, recently 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 May 9

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 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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Lucid Motors Stories March 18

Lucid’s astute forum members have uncovered news the automaker may or may not want the public to see yet. Patent images of Lucid Motors’ upcoming Gravity SUV were uncovered in a filing with the EUIPO.

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Lucid Motors Stories March 17

The collaboration with Dolby will integrate Atmos in the Lucid Air’s new 21-speaker Surreal Sound system. As the first vehicle to ever feature Dolby Atmos sound, Air drivers will experience an immersive listening experience. Furthermore, the speaker system will provide enhanced audio safety features.

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Lucid Motors Stories March 11

Lucid Motors just released a video of CEO Peter Rawlinson taking the upcoming Air sedan for a test drive. It was the first time the Air appeared in public without camouflage. The test drive Air is a release candidate EV built at Lucid’s AMP-1 facility in Arizona. Rawlinson test drives the Lucid Air around the San Fransisco area to validate its dynamics before it begins full production.

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Lucid Motors Stories February 25

Following its massive merger with SPAC Churchill Capital Corp IV ($CCIV), Lucid Motors’ CEO revealed that deliveries of its first EV have been delayed. The Lucid Motors Air, Dream Edition was originally scheduled to begin deliveries this spring. It now appears it will debut sometime in the second half of 2021.

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Lucid Motors Stories February 23

Electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors announced a SPAC deal to go public with over $4 billion in cash injection to accelerate its plan.

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Lucid Motors Stories February 16

Lucid Motors is making strides toward delivering its foremost electric sedan this spring. Its production lines are beginning to come to life. This is all taking place in Casa Grande, Arizona, a 590-acre footprint and home to Lucid Motors’ new production factory.

The Lucid AMP-1 (Advanced Manufacturing Plant) will house the production and assembly of the California-based automaker’s upcoming Air luxury sedan.

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