Saudi-backed Tesla rival and electric car start-up Lucid Motors has now opened the reservation phase of its electric Lucid Air sedan in a second major market – Europe, including a right-hand drive version planned for the UK.
Lucid, which will reportedly offer its Lucid Air with 400km driving range, a top speed of more than 320km/hr and acceleration from 0-60mph (0-96.5km/hr) in just 2.5 seconds, secured a hefty investment of $US1 billion ($A1.45 billion) from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund in 2018.
At the time it promised the futuristic-looking electric car by 2020, and the first unveil of the production Lucid Air slated is designated for the April 2020 New York Motor Show, with new details on specifications, interior and exterior design and pricing expected to be announced.
Reservations had previously been opened for the US only, but now for the fully refundable equivalent of $US1,000 ($A1,450), interested drivers in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Great Britain will now also be able to join Lucid’s early reservation list.
While a further expansion into Europe is planned for the future, initial countries were selected for their combination of market acceptance and size as well as penetration of electric car charging infrastructure, and first deliveries to customers are set to commence in these nations in late 2021.
“This is an exciting time for Lucid. We’ve been moving at an incredible pace, with the completion of our factory and the first production Airs expected in late 2020,” said Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson in a statement.
“With deliveries in Europe expected just a year from those milestones, we felt the time was right to open up reservations in a region that has truly embraced the core tenets of environmentally-friendly transportation, and one that we expect will be a major market for Lucid.”
Construction is currently in full swing at Lucid Motor’s Casa Grande, AZ facility. Most of the basic structure will be completed by the end of February.
Following the completion of the building, the construction of the production facilities, including a state-of-the-art paint shop, is tackled.
The company currently intends for first pre-series vehicles will come off the assembly line at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2020, and series production will then begin by the end of 2020.
Before that, however, up to 80 beta prototypes must roll off the assembly line in Silicon Valley – including monocoque aluminum body structures.
It is not yet known if the Lucid will be made available in the Australian market, although word of a right-hand drive for the UK is encouraging.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.