I don’t praise a lot of cars on their looks. I don’t often smack-talk their looks either if I think they’re super ugly. I think aesthetics are highly subjective, I just don’t like “criticizing for the fun of it,” and, unfortunately, I don’t find many vehicles visually appealing. The Lucid Air, though …
The inside and the outside of this car is to drool over. Of the many EV startups we’ve covered over the years, only a few have seemed to me to be really compelling and likely to grow and survive. Lucid Motors has taken a long time to get off the ground, but it’s one of the few that I do have hope for. I could very well be wrong — this is a bloody hard industry to break into — but Lucid gives me the same feelings of inspiration, hope, and solid architecture that Tesla did.
Furthermore, aside from being beautiful, Lucid’s cars are higher efficient. The Lucid Air reportedly achieved the best aerodynamic rating (coefficient of drag) in the industry, and important achievement for driving range and cost, but also important for autonomous driving and building a car around a computer, something I imaging Lucid will come back to at a future time.
Lucid Motors now has some progress on how it plans to sell its vehicles, and the timing may be excellent with the rise of Tesla stock [TSLA] — full disclosure: I’m a shareholder — and fast growing awareness about Tesla and the industry as a whole.
Is Lucid the next Tesla? Of course not. There is no next Tesla — Tesla is Tesla and forever will be the only Tesla (as far as automakers and energy companies go). However, Lucid could certainly ride the wave of EV interest beautifully and find a lot of happy customers.
I met a guy at a Supercharger a few days ago who was driving a Tesla Model S (his wife’s Model S, but he mostly drove it for some undisclosed reason). He said that he had just put down a reservation on a Lucid Air a few weeks ago. I expect many such conversations will be happening at Tesla Superchargers over time. People like diversity, and you can appreciate more than one high-tech, beautiful product in an industry. Love is boundless, and it can certainly be shared beyond one brand or one model!
Yesterday, Lucid revealed that it is opening 20 stores (Lucid Studios) and service centers in North America in the next year and a half, by the end of 2021. That indicates the company is ready to move. It must have its car finalized and nearly ready for production. Indeed, production is set to start in late 2020 at Lucid’s new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. In fact, it seems that Lucid has been working in overdrive despite the pandemic in order to get production, the reveal, and the Lucid Studio rollout ready. A press release from a few weeks ago revealed:
“As Lucid’s 1,000+ employees return to work in a phased approach based on local and state mandates – with none ever laid off or furloughed – they resume vehicle development work that was only briefly delayed during shelter-in-place. Furthermore, that effort is accelerated by over 160 new employees who were hired in the last 90 days alone, with the goal of adding over 700 by the end of 2020.”
The Lucid Studios follow the same trend as Tesla’s stores, selling directly to consumers in attractive retail settings — not car dealership lots. The first round of Studios and service centers will be in the following locations:
- Silicon Valley Studio: Located at Lucid’s Global Headquarters in Newark, CA
- Los Angeles Studios: Located at 9022 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills, CA, and at Westfield Century City in Century City, CA
- Los Angeles Service Center: Located at 9022 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills, CA
- San Jose Studio: Located at Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, CA
- Miami Studio: Located at Brickell City Centre in Miami, FL
- West Palm Beach Studio: Located at Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach, FL
- New York City Studio: Located in the Meatpacking District, NY
- DC Metro Studio: Located at Tysons Corner Center in Tysons, VA
The focus is 100% on luxury with Lucid — as it seems it has to be to break into the auto industry as a startup aiming for massive growth — and that is carried through in its Studios as well, which the company indicates have a “California-inspired design aesthetic.” Who doesn’t love California and California design, am I right?
If you want the PR fluff on this — and I have to say that I even find this delightfully appealing for once — here’s some of that: “To that end, Lucid purposely selected spaces with relatively small footprints in high-traffic areas, where customers can spend time in a thoughtfully designed space that highlights Lucid’s advanced technology in a warm atmosphere of natural, sustainable materials.” I think the messaging is clear: This is the new Tesla. Want one?
Frankly, for people who got in on Tesla late, it’s appealing. Now you can be one of the first to discover Lucid. You can’t replicate being the breakthrough company in a whole new world, and Lucid has a tremendous avenue ahead of itself to prove that it can be a great car company, if not more. Nonetheless, it is a fresh, attractive face in an industry that may finally be ready for one.
Furthermore, Lucid carries on the Tesla mission with its own new style and character. Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson, who worked at Tesla back in the day, says: “Just as the Lucid Air is meticulously designed and engineered to be a new benchmark in the luxury electric car segment, we designed Lucid Studios to be engaging, to start conversations and to help educate people about the performance and efficiency benchmarks possible in an electric vehicle.”
We write about electric vehicles a lot. There are few that make me think: “Hmm, maybe I could have one of those someday.” I have a feeling I’m not the only one in that boat.
A full reveal of the production version of the Lucid Air is coming on September 9, 2020. Stay tuned!
The little bit we know about the car so far is that, “Featuring luxurious interior space in a mid-size exterior footprint, the Air will be capable of over 400 miles range and 0-60 mph in under 2.5 seconds.
All photos courtesy Lucid Motors
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