If you were to ask me to believe that Lucid, headquartered in California, is pivoting toward becoming a mass-market electric vehicle manufacturer, I'd likely raise some doubts. Lucid's trajectory until now has been quite the opposite.
Their flagship Air electric sedan starts at a price north of $80,000 before tax credits, and the Air Sapphire, a lightning-fast machine, boasts an eye-watering MSRP of $249,000, aiming to rival even the Bugatti Chiron. Even the upcoming Gravity SUV won't come cheap. However, CEO Peter Rawlinson seems to hint at broader aspirations beyond these two prominent EVs.
Launching a new automotive brand is a colossal undertaking, even with substantial investor backing, as Lucid has. Typically, startups begin by focusing on luxury EVs with high-profit margins before venturing into more affordable, mass-market vehicles to broaden their appeal. Rawlinson recently disclosed to Autocar, "The mid-sized [EV] is going to be overtly a Tesla competitor—Model 3, Model Y. This is the first time I’ve ever said it: we’re going to compete in that market—high-volume family car."
He indicated that Lucid's upcoming lineup would target the $50,000 range, aligning more closely with the current prices of Tesla's Model Y. Notably, Tesla's Model 3 can dip well under $30,000 with the application of federal and state-level tax credits.
Tesla encountered early challenges with the Model 3 and Model Y line-ups, particularly in terms of quality issues like minor fit inconsistencies and reported panel gaps. Lucid could draw from Tesla's experiences and strive for tighter quality control.
Another potential advantage Lucid might wield is in the domain of range—the Air Grand Touring currently holds the title for the longest-range EPA-certified electric car in the U.S., boasting over 500 miles of range. While smaller Lucid cars may feature smaller batteries, the company could leverage its expertise, stemming from its history as a battery company, to target class-leading range figures. It's widely recognized that range capability can significantly impact consumer decisions in the EV market.
--------The article is excerpted from INSIDEEVS