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Lucid Air, a luxury electric sedan, is set to hit markets this spring, with a price tag of $169,000 in what some see as a direct challenge to the currently undisputed leader in this space, Tesla.
Lucid Air, a product of Lucid Motors, was designed by Tesla’s former chief engineer, Peter Rawlinson, who designed the Model S. According to him, the Lucid Air will be better than the Model S, with a range of 517 miles per charge. It will be able to go from zero to 60 in just over 2 seconds, and it will charge faster.
A new luxury model for a market that is gearing up towards more affordable models in order to motivate more purchases might seem like a slightly odd idea. Even Fisker, after failing with the high-end Karma, is poised to launch the Ocean at $37,499. Yet some would argue that the luxury EV space is rather starved for competition, so a newcomer would certainly liven things up.
Yet Rowlinson does have affordable EV plans. According to a report in Forbes citing him, plans are for Lucid Motors to sell hundreds of thousands of EVs at prices in the mid-$40,000s. It will also work with other carmakers to manufacture EVs at lower prices near $25,000.
Interestingly enough, Lucid Motors is financed by Saudi Arabia. It is interesting because Tesla’s Elon Musk two years ago ignited shock and awe on markets when he tweeted plans to take the carmaker private, saying funding was secured from Saudi Arabia. The shock eventually dissipated, and the Saudis apparently chose to invest in Lucid Motors instead, whose chairman Andrew Liveris has deep financial ties with Riyadh, according to a Los Angeles Times report from January.
The company also seems eager to go public and get some more funding from other investors. The same report said Lucid Motors was planning to float shares through a tie-up with a special purpose acquisition company—also called a blank check shell company—in a scheme that is becoming increasingly popular among startups across industries.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com