The first beta engineering prototype Lucid Air hit the streets for the first time in front of an army of elated Lucid employees. The early build represents a milestone for the company as a vehicle that is 95% representative of what will eventually make it into a production vehicle. The company is planning to starting rolling the Lucid Air into production at its newly commissioned factory in Casa Grande, Arizona late next year.
The new vehicle is the first of a handful of second generation prototypes from the company that fold countless months of engineering rigor and testing into the Lucid Air in a push to finalize the production design of the vehicle. “This is a new generation of technology,” Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said. “It embodies all the advances of the last several years, and — in particular — our battery technology is now race-proven.”
This first Lucid Air beta was built at Lucid’s Silicon Valley headquarters, as will the rest of the fleet of 80 beta test vehicles. “This level of in-house construction is a logical yet unusual move,” Rawlinson said. “I’m not aware of any other company on the West Coast with that degree of in-house capability.”
Lucid’s research and development (R&D) team is current located at its Silicon Valley headquarters, so it made sense to keep production of the early prototypes local until the design is etched in stone. To accomplish this, the R&D team is constantly comparing real world results with the digital design data from the CAD systems used to build out the vehicle in the virtual world.
From there, it will be sent off to Arizona for production. Of course, the two teams will be working in concert to design not just the vehicle, but to design it for production. In fact, many of Lucid’s first employees from its Casa Grande, Arizona plant came out to celebrate the occasion. While in California, they will also be getting an early look at the components of the vehicle as some of the first training on the process of bringing the vehicle from concept to a fully production-ready vehicle.
The Lucid Air is slated to move into production in late 2020, but the company is already taking reservations for the highly anticipated electric vehicle as it ramps up its operations in support of the official launch. A fully refundable $2,500 deposit locks in a place in line for one of the first production vehicles.
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