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Tesla’s head of production is going to EV startup Lucid Motors

Tesla’s head of production in charge of its Fremont factory, Peter Hochholdinger, is going to hold a similar position at Lucid Motors, an electric car startup looking to soon move to production.

Last week, Electrek revealed that Hochholdinger was leaving Tesla after over three years as the head of production for the electric automaker.

At the time, we reported based on inside sources that Hochholdinger left, but neither Tesla or the executive wanted to comment.

Now we’ve learned that it was because he was going to a competitor: Lucid Motors.

Lucid Motors has kind of spun out of Tesla. It was started by a former Tesla board member and executive and it is led by Peter Rawlinson, the former chief engineer of the Tesla Model S.

Several other Tesla engineers and executives have also joined the startup and they are now also adding Hochholdinger to the team.

Today, the startup announced that the Tesla and Audi veteran is joining as Vice President of Manufacturing and he will lead “Lucid’s global manufacturing operations, commencing with Lucid’s plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, as well as manufacturing engineering.”

Rawlinson commented on the hire:

“We are delighted to welcome Peter to the Lucid team. Peter’s extensive experience and proven leadership in premium-vehicle manufacturing will prove invaluable as we continue our progress towards the launch of Lucid Air and future models. In joining Lucid, Peter is empowered to create an industry-leading manufacturing process that will deliver the quality products our discerning customers demand and deserve.”

In 2017, Lucid Motors announced an aggressive $60,000 base price for its luxury all-electric sedan, the Lucid Air, with a range of 240 miles and some other interesting specs.

At the time, Lucid also unveiled its plan for a $700 million factory in Arizona to produce the Air in 2018.

However, they had difficulties raising the capital needed to start construction on the plant until they secured over $1 billion in investments from Saudi Arabia late last year.

Now they plan to start production in 2020.

Electrek’s Take

While I was sad to see Peter leave Tesla last week, I’m glad that he is at least still putting his talent toward accelerating the production of electric vehicles.

He will likely be a big help for Lucid’s manufacturing effort since bringing a car to production within the next year is going be extremely hard for the relatively small startup even with $1 billion in their pockets.

But I am more concerned about the vehicle itself.

We were very impressed by the Lucid Air’s specs, design, and price, but that was in 2017 and the car was supposed to come out in 2018.

Electric vehicles are evolving so fast that this two-year delay is a big deal and the specs are now not as impressive when we look at what is coming in 2020.

Hopefully, Lucid plans to upgrade the specs of the Air before bringing it to production.

We will keep you updated as they make progress on bringing the electric vehicle to market.

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Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

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