Lucid Motors has announced that after just under a year of construction, its first factory – the “AMP-1 (Advanced Manufacturing Plant)”, in Arizona – is complete, and ready to begin pumping out the Lucid Air in 2021. What’s more, along with the announcement came the bold claim that its eventual manufacturing output will go from 30,000 to an eventual 400,000 units annually.
That’s a lot of luxury cars. To put it in perspective, Tesla sold 367,500 units in 2019; far and away their best numbers yet. And Lucid isn’t exactly positioning itself as the common man’s alternative. Its top-tiered debut, the 1,080hp Air Dream Edition, comes with a price tag of $169,000. The least expensive Air model, meanwhile, will put you back a mere “under $80,000”, at the latest estimate. That’s about £60,000 – a trifle, really.
“Great future ahead, #Tesla killer!” praised one Twitter user at the news, perhaps over-optimistically. It would take a serious shake-up to displace the titan of EVs, especially at that asking price. The market for luxury high-end electric cars is a small one to start with, and rollout of the Lucid Air has been delayed twice before due to lack of funding.
But if Lucid’s bolshy claims prove true – that the Air is “the fastest charging electric vehicle ever” and boasts a staggering 517-mile range – it could happen. We broke down the implications of a range that at least equals, and potentially beats, Tesla in this video:
In any case, Lucid is certainly determined to break new ground: their expansive new plant is the first dedicated all-EV factory in North America. In the launch video showcasing the sweeping 590-acre site, Lucid senior manager Steve Inglis explains how the factory has been build from the ground up for its precise purpose:
When you’re in a greenfield site like we are, and you can start from scratch, you build only what you need, only the precise tools that you need.Steve Inglis, Lucid senior manager
Lucid describes the site as “future-ready”, equipped to meet their anticipated output. But if they’re to meet their current goal of a Spring 2021 launch for the Dream Edition, let’s hope they’re present-ready – and hard at work delivering on those promises.