Electric vehicle (EV) startup Lucid Motors is switching gears to target the masses.
Thus far only a manufacturer of luxury EVs, the company is set to take learnings from its Air sedan and Gravity SUV and package them in a more affordable mid-sized EV.
In a ceremony celebrating the expansion of Lucid’s AMP-1 factory in the US state of Arizona, company executives teased the existence of the mid-sized EV and confirmed the car is already in development. It also showed guests a silhouette of the vehicle, which appeared to be a crossover.
“Mid-size is a super exciting program,” Lucid’s senior vice president of design and brand, Derek Jenkins, told Electrek.
“The whole point of all of this is to establish ourselves in this luxury segment and then take all the attributes, all the capability, and a version of the technology and go mainstream.
“That’s what that car represents, and it has all of that, surprisingly.”
Mr Jenkins then dropped a hint on the maturity of “project mid-size”.
“We’re going to say as much as we can as soon as we can, but I will say the design is fairly solidified at this point, but there are still things being reviewed,” he said.
Inside EVs reports the new model could launch as early as 2025.
The new model will reportedly be manufactured in Lucid’s new facility in Saudi Arabia and have an annual production of 150,000 units.
Lucid has been quite candid when comparing itself to EV manufacturer Tesla, especially when discussing what part of the EV market it wishes to enter.
The company is following a similar strategy to Tesla, which also launched more premium models (Model S, Model X) first in order to gain enough resources to in turn launch more affordable mass-market products (Model 3, Model Y).
“Mid-size is going to be our more affordable car – more of a (Tesla) Model 3, Model Y competitor,” said Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson, who previously served at Tesla as the chief engineer for the Model S.
For context, the Tesla Model 3 starts at around the US$40,000 (A$60,000 AUD) mark, while the Lucid Air sedan range opens at US$77,400 (A$117,432).
“Our mid-size is, for the first time, it’s overtly going to be a Tesla competitor. It’s going to be the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. It’s our big volume platform and we’re going to do this and this is a few years from now,” said Mr Rawlinson.
“I want to be very clear about that – we may be Mercedes’ competitors today, but we’re going Model 3 and Model Y.”
A question mark hangs over the mid-sized EV’s Australian arrival, however.
Lucid’s CEO has previously said he is eager to expand the EV company to new markets and new segments, and confirmed a UK launch is in the cards.
“We’ve got to do right-hand drive Air… We’ve bitten off so much right now. It’s quite a project to make a right-hand drive Air; it would take us at least 18 months to do,” said Mr Rawlinson in November 2023.
Lucid says the expansion of its AMP-1 facility is crucial to its continuing growth.
The factory has been expanded by roughly 280,000 square metres, taking the total footprint to more than 360,000 square metres.
Included in the expansion is a new powertrain facility, new body and paint shops, a new logistics centre, a new quality control centre and a new assembly line amongst other upgrades.