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Lucid Motors delays launch of production Air electric car, timeline for production at risk

Lucid Motors confirmed that it is delaying the launch of the production version of its Lucid Air electric car as the timeline to production is at risk.

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 of the plant.

Late in 2018, Lucid secured over $1 billion in investments from Saudi Arabia, which put them back on track for their 2017 plans.

The investment set the company up for a good 2019.

During the last year, they made a lot of progress toward the production version of their vehicle and they also made a lot of progress on building their factory in Arizona after suffering from delays over the previous two years.

Lucid aimed to unveil the production version of the Lucid Air at the New York Auto show in April and start production by the end of the year.

Today, the automaker confirmed that it is postponing the unveiling until August due to the New York show being canceled over coronavirus concerns and the venue being used as a temporary hospital.

The good news is that Peter Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid Motors, said that the company is still hiring and moving forward with its plan to bring the Air to production.

He told the Silicon Valley Business Journal:

“Leading up to the rise of COVID-19, Lucid had grown to over 1,000 employees and we are maintaining this aggressive growth trajectory even now. We have worked with the HR team to maintain interview schedules for new-hire candidates while switching them to phone calls, and we are also moving forward on talent acquisition strategies.”

Rawlinson gave an update on the company’s supply chain:

“Our supply chain remains totally committed and in a state of readiness for start of production for the Lucid Air. For the most part, tooling and machinery for the Lucid factory in Arizona was well underway before the current crisis.”

He also says that they are in a solid financial situation:

“Lucid is in a sound financial position, and has the financing needed to take it to start of production for the Lucid Air,”

Earlier this year, we interviewed Rawlinson, and he revealed a few new details about the production version.

He said that the Lucid Air is going to be equipped with a more than 900V system, will have up to 400 miles of real-world range, and more.

The first version of the car, which might be called Dream Edition based on the new teaser, is expected to cost over $100,000 and have up to 1,000hp.

Rawlinson told Electrek that he didn’t set out to create a 1,000hp car, but the power is a consequence of creating a long-range electric vehicle.

The CEO expects the Air to create a new standard for efficiency with 4 to 5 miles of range per kWh for a full-size luxury sedan.

Electrek’s Take

I am still bullish on Lucid. I think they are going to come to the market with a great vehicle that should find a market in the premium sedan segment.

However, I already thought that their timeline for production was already a bit too aggressive.

With the current coronavirus crisis, I now have massive doubts that Lucid can deliver the Air in any meaningful volume in 2020.

But I wouldn’t say that it is a big problem. 2020 is likely going to be a tough year for car sales anyway so they might be better off to start volume production next year.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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