Production of the Air model by Lucid Motors started this week, and many eyes are peeled to see how the startup automaker’s entry into the EV market goes.
For the occasion, a number of VIPs were on hand to celebrate the start of production, from future vehicle owners with reservations to company dignitaries to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.
Lucid Motors' Advanced Manufacturing Plant (AMP-1) facility does more than just assemble the cars themselves. A neighboring plant, Lucid Powertrain Manufacturing (LPM-1), also assembles major powertrain components, such as electric motors, electronics and battery packs. The plant produces the battery pack (from cells), the motor assembly, the differential and inverter, and the "Wunderbox" bi-directional charger that handles fast charging of 19.2 kW in AC and more than 300 kW in DC.
A Lucid representative told Car and Driver magazine that complete control of the powertrain design and manufacturing is one of the reasons the Dream Edition launch version can produce up to 1111 hp and offer an EPA-certified range of 520 miles (about 837 km).
Production of the Dream Edition is set at 520 units, a number obviously chosen to reflect the model’s range. Later, the Casa Grande plant will also manufacture the Lucid Air Grand Touring, which will offer some 800 hp and a slightly reduced range of 830 km, provided that it is equipped with the 19-inch wheels, offered as standard. Production of the less expensive Touring and Pure models will follow once they receive their EPA (Environment Protection Agency) certifications.
Beyond that, an SUV currently known as Project Gravity is scheduled for launch in 2023. That's still a long way off, but for now, the future looks pretty bright for the fledgling company. The next few months will tell us more about its entry into the EV market.
Currently, Lucid Motors has some 13,000 reservation holders. With production of the Air underway and with other, less-expensive models on the way, that total is only going to grow if the company gets its marketing right.
Starting production of its first model is an important step, but the hardest work still lies ahead for Lucid. Sustained sales, rigorous delivery of units, quality of workmanship and after-sales service are all future challenges at this point.