By all accounts, the Lucid Air is one terrific electric car, one that has a potential top speed of 235 miles per hour (378 km/h). The company is led by Peter Rawlinson, who once served as chief engineer in charge of bringing the Tesla Model S to production. A few prototypes have been built, but progress toward production has been stalled for a number of years due to a lack of financial resources. That situation got a lot better when Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund put up $1 billion in 2018.
With the new funding in hand, construction of a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona began late last year. This week, Lucid released a video showing how progress on the factory is coming along.
In a blog post, the company says the steel structure is 70% finished and gets 2.5% closer to completion every day. When finished, it will have used 67,400,000 pounds of concrete and 11,353,800 pounds of steel in 4,316 prefabricated modules. “This purpose-built factory will serve our needs precisely because as as with the Lucid Air itself — there were no constraints on designing it exactly as it should be,” says Rawlinson. “Seeing these vast, multistory structures rise according to plan confirms that we are indeed on track to begin production here later this year.”
While construction of the factory is proceeding, Lucid is building more than 80 prototypes of the Air at its tech center in Silicon Valley. They will be used for real world testing before being sent to Arizona to be used as models for the first production vehicles. Everything the company learns from those pre-production cars will be utilized to make the finished cars as good as they can be. Customers are welcome to reserve one of the first cars with a fully refundable deposit of $1,000.
Everyone, of course, will compare the Lucid Air to the Tesla Model S. Will it measure up? Probably in some respects. Maybe not in others. There is no worldwide dedicated charging system like the Tesla Supercharger network, but Lucid is partnering with Electrify America to meet the needs of its customers. There’s a reason the market has both Coke and Pepsi, McDonald’s and Burger King. People like choices. And anything that moves the EV revolution forward has to be welcome news.