California EV Lucid to build 1,000 horsepower car in Arizona

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【Summary】California-based electric car company Lucid is recently confirmed to open its assembly plant in Arizona, to prepare for the company’s mass production in 2018.

Original Claire    Dec 04, 2016 5:05 PM PT
California EV Lucid to build 1,000 horsepower car in Arizona

The rising calculus of the EV industry is never lacking for new competitors. The pioneering EV giant Tesla is now actually turning a profit while becoming increasingly mainstream in the marketplace. Both corporate newcomers and automobile manufacturing veterans are joining in at every opportunity to push the EV business to new heights.   

The California-based electric car company Lucid recently confirmed it will open a new assembly plant in Arizona. This will be done to prepare for the company's mass production phase in 2018.

"Lucid Motors is building the luxury automobile of the future, and we have an opportunity to become the global leader in automotive technology. We are confident Arizona is the ideal location to advance our innovations and will continue to provide an excellent platform for our success," said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid's chief technology officer, in a written statement.

The move was encouraged by Arizona's relatively loose regulatory policies and benefits for new businesses. Arizona governor Doug Ducey has promoted the state as being "committed to low taxes and light regulations." This will make Arizona, according to Ducey, "the best place in the nation to start and scale a new business."

"The site we've located has been carefully selected, having scoured the U.S. extensively," Peter Rawlinson, chief technology officer at Lucid Motors told reporters at the L.A. Auto Show last month.

The new factory will be set up in Casa Grande, Arizona, a desert town of 50,000. It is situated about 50 miles away from Phoenix. An interesting fact of note is that the town was once a candidate for hosting Tesla's Gigafactory 1 back in 2014.

The company plans to invest in $700 million in the Arizona factory and will hire 2,000 employees by 2022. The initial hiring and preparation will begin in 2017. When it hits full production, Lucid estimates there will be 50,000 to 60,000 cars produced per year. The car parts and supplies for the vehicles will be manufactured in Sonora, the Mexican state bordering Arizona. The whole assembly process will be carried out in Casa Grande.

Rawlinson further revealed the new cars will have 1,000 horsepower and range of 400-miles. The cars will also boast some autonomous features. The company is targeting both Tesla and the German luxury brands as competitors, and plans to build a luxurious sedan to compete with them.

Lucid Motors was founded in 2007, and has been based in Redwood City in the San Francisco Bay Area. Of its 300 employees, many were previously working at Mazda and Tesla. It's founder, Benard Tse, was the former vice president and a board member of Tesla. When it was initially established, the company focused on lithium-battery technology. However, after some new talent hires from different automaker companies, it began making an aluminum car in 2014.

The small company now has collected $131 million in funding in 2016. Major backers include some well-known Chinese investors such as Yueting Jia, the CEO of LeEco, and BAIC, a major automaker based in Beijing that is controlled by Chinese government.

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