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EV start-up Lucid begins production of $169,000 Air Dream Edition


Electric vehicle start-up Lucid on Sept. 28, 2021 said production of its first cars for customers has started at its factory in in Casa Grande, Arizona.


Electric vehicle start-up Lucid on Tuesday said production of its first cars for customers is underway, with deliveries scheduled to begin late next month.

Lucid is the first EV start-up that went public through a SPAC deal to actually produce a saleable vehicle for consumers. The milestone is crucial for Lucid, which debuted on the Nasdaq in July and is viewed as a front-runner to rival EV leader Tesla.

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“I’m delighted that production cars endowed with this level of efficiency are currently driving off our factory line,” Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, a former chief engineer and vice president of engineering at Tesla, said in a statement.

Lucid’s first car is a $169,000 special edition of its flagship sedan called the Air Dream Edition, with an industry-leading range of up to 520 miles, according to the EPA. To honor the Dream Edition’s EPA range of models, only 520 Dream Edition models will be produced by the company.

The Lucid Air sedan starts at $77,000. This includes a $7,500 tax credit and a basic version.

Lucid stated that it had received over 13,000 reservations.

According to an investor presentation, the company informed investors that in 2022 it plans to make 20,000 Lucid Air sedans, which will generate more than $2.2 million in annual revenue.

Lucid manufactures the Air at its new Casa Grande plant. On a site of 590 acres, it is building the facility that will be worth multibillions. This greenfield EV plant, the first in America, was built in phases. In 2023, the facility will produce an SUV named Gravity.

Lucid was established in 2007 under the name Atieva. This name is still used for its engineering tech arm, which supplies batteries to Formula E. Three years later Rawlinson joined Lucid to oversee its technology development.

Lucid was having trouble obtaining the capital needed to finance its projects until September 2018, when it received $1B from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. FactSet says that it remains the most significant shareholder, holding 62% or more of the outstanding shares.

It is one of a few EV startup companies that went public over the last year. Others have included Faraday Future, Canoo, Fisker and Lordstown Motors. None of them have made a consumer-friendly vehicle.

Lucid’s production start comes two weeks after Amazon-backed EV start-up Rivian began production of its first vehicle, a pickup called the R1T, at a factory in Normal, Illinois.