The long-awaited Lucid luxury sedans, Lucid Air, have started to roll off the production lines and will be delivered to customers in late October. The delivery marks the beginning of a significant challenge to the king of the electric vehicle universe, Elon Musk and Tesla.
The headlines indicate Lucid is already ahead of Tesla in horsepower, driving range, and maybe even the cool factor. MotorTrend called the Lucid Air Dream Edition an “absolute mic drop” after an exclusive first look test drive in early September.
The horsepower alone backs up that statement. These cars are rightfully named Air, as they will be flying with an astounding 1,111 horsepower. For those keeping scores, Telsa’s Model S has a peak power of 1,020 horsepower. The Air also beats the Model S by more than 100 miles on a single charge. All this Tesla beating fun is yours for $169,000 (the base model is $77,000).
The emergence of Lucid already had an impact on Musk’s kingdom. Last October, Lucid announced its pricing for different models. Musk tweeted: The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled.” Tesla reduced its prices. Musk also canceled the Model S Plaid+ in June. He again tweeted his reason for the move: Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is just so good. However, the Plaid+ would’ve had similar horsepower and range numbers to Lucid Air.
"Our technology will allow for increasingly lighter, more efficient, and less expensive EVs – Peter Rawlinson, CEO/CTO Lucid Cars"
Lucid is not an overnight sensation, it was founded in 2007. Peter Rawlinson is Lucid’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. His resume includes Principal Engineer at Jaguar Cars, Chief Engineer at Lotus Cars, and, get this; he was the chief engineer for Tesla Model S. That’s right, he has now produced a vehicle that puts his old EV and employer to shame.
In a media release, Rawlinson was cited with a very well-crafted quote, “the proprietary EV technology that Lucid has developed will make it possible to travel more miles using less battery energy. Our technology will allow for increasingly lighter, more efficient, and less expensive EVs…”
Rawlinson, who does not have a Twitter account, was not boasting about better numbers than his former employers. Instead, he is looking at his company’s advancements as a game-changer for the whole EV sector, “…today represents a major step in our journey to expand the accessibility of more sustainable transportation.”
You can imagine that Musk and a team of engineers will be getting their hands on a Lucid Air in the coming weeks. They will then strip it down to figure out how Rawlinson has beaten them at their game. Motortrend offered some insight into what Musk will find.
Their exclusive first look article suggests that Rawlinson believes creating and utilizing smaller parts is the key to success for electric cars. Lucid Motors Twitter account quoted Rawlinson saying, “it’s not about the size of our battery pack, it’s about the efficiency of our powertrain technology, our architecture, everything that can impact the range down to the decimal point.”
In 1908, General Motors opened its doors down the street from Ford in Detroit, Michigan. Ford had been alone for five years in the automotive world. Since then, the companies have spent more than a century one-upping the other at every turn. Competition breeds better technology and better prices, and the consumer wins. Now Tesla has Lucid; let the battle begin.