Lucid Motors Throws Hat in the Ring—Could This Startup Dethrone Tesla?

Tesla may be the world leader in electric vehicles—with a large market share and one of the best reputations for innovation, quality, and technology—but that doesn’t mean Elon Musk’s innovative luxury electric car company can rest on its laurels.

Lucid Motors, a new electric car startup, seems to be aiming for Tesla at the highest end of the luxury electric car market, with a new luxury sports sedan called, simply “Air.” This sporty, luxurious car is built with an all-electric engine boasting over 1000 hp.

Fast, Convenient—and Cutting Edge

According to Lucid Motors, combined with the incredible acceleration capabilities of electric engines, their newest prototype can reach zero to sixty mph in 2.5 seconds—faster than both the Lamborghini Aventador and the Audi R8 and on par with the Bugatti Veyron—the fastest gasoline-powered street-legal car in production.

And it’s not just fast—the Air is built for convenience and longevity, with a proprietary power pack that’s claimed to provide a range of over 400 miles—nearly double the current-year Model S, which provides 208 miles on the low end. And that’s just for the base, 100 kWh model; Lucid also plans to build a model of the Air with a 130 kWh battery pack, for a slightly higher price.

These battery packs were built over a ten-year development cycle in collaboration with Samsung, creating a rounded and cylindrical battery pack that, according to Lucid Motors, supports incredible long-term capacity and support for fast, high-repetition charging. Given the fact that Lucid Motors is slated to be the sole provider of battery packs for the newly announced Formula E racing circuit, we’re hopeful about their claims and are looking forward to testing the quality of their flagship products.

A Luxury Car with a Sporty Pedigree

Don’t let the focus on batteries and cutting-edge motors fool you—this car is a premium product, and both the exterior design and the interior features emphasize that luxury as soon as you step into the car.

As with most luxury cars, the Air is understated, with a four-door hatchback design that’s sleek yet attractive. It seems to flow and bend in all of the right places, and the aggressively indented sides and unique roof design set it apart from the crowd.

The car is also designed to take advantage of its gasoline-engineless design by being able to “accommodate the interior space of a full-size luxury vehicle in a midsize footprint.”

Also, the interior is made of premium materials, in a four-seat configuration with spacious, reclining rear seats and a twenty-nine-speaker audio system that is designed to help mitigate the lack of engine noise and mechanical sounds that drivers of internal-combustion cars are used to.

The car itself is also being built with a comprehensive sensor package, and via press release, Lucid Motors claimed that “Lucid vehicles will be delivered autonomous-ready with a comprehensive sensor suite able to scale to complete autonomy through ongoing software upgrades.” So this luxury sedan is as future-proof as you can get.

Production is Starting Soon—Slated for 2018

After the company’s initial reveal of the car at their Menlo Park headquarters in California, Lucid Motors unveiled their overall strategic plan for this latest entrant in the electric-car wars. This latest concept car is close to the finished product, and the company’s recently opened Arizona factory will begin production in earnest sometime in 2018.

Initially, this car will be classified as high end—sold at a base price of over $100K—but Lucid Motors plans on imitating the Tesla model to some extent by relying on luxury cars to gain profits with which to develop a lower cost, approximately $65K model of the car, a price that’s more in line with the Tesla Model S.

Although the results of this battle between Tesla and Lucid Motors likely won’t be known for quite a while, it’s good to know that there are innovators willing to take a shot at the crown of premium electric vehicles. More competition means more innovation, better prices, and increased interest in the future of electric cars.

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