Lucid Motors unveils its long-awaited Electric Air

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【Summary】Lucid Motors unveils its first-ever electric vehicle: Air. The company will present the EV at next month's CES 2017.

Original Claire    Jan 21, 2017 12:10 AM PT
Lucid Motors unveils its long-awaited Electric Air

Just two weeks ago, Lucid Motors announced its plan to start a factory in Arizona. The Silicon Valley startup now surprised us again yesterday with its first-ever electric vehicle: Air.

The car takes on a futuristic design, double electric motors that could put out 1000 horsepower, a 400-mile range per charge, rear seats that recline 55 degrees, and a high-end interior design based on luxurious jets. The first EV by Lucid Motors is trumping on Tesla Model S. With an acceleration speed from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds, this is as quick as any car on the road today, according to the company's claims. 

The Silicon Valley EV startup is definitely a company of action. On Dec 9, reports unveiled that Samsung SDI is now partnering with Lucid Motors to provide it with lithium-ion battery cells. The two are said to have collaborated to produce "next-generation cylindrical cells that are able to exceed current performance benchmarks in areas such as energy density, power, calendar life and safety." Lucid stressed one of the most important qualities of the new battery cells is its "breakthrough" tolerance of rapid charging.

Now we can see Samsung's 130kwh battery pack installed on Electric Air, the largest that has ever been used in a vehicle. How fast it can be charged isn't known yet, but if repetitive fast-charging won't bring degradation, like what Lucid said, it could be a definite advantage over other competitors. 

What's more, the company is making its vehicle's hardware ready for fully autonomous capabilities. When the software is released, future self-driving functions will be added. 

The Electric Air entry level model is priced at $100,000; and the company is accepting orders with a starting deposit of $2,500. The upgraded Launch Edition will be marked at $160,000 with a $25,500 deposit (limited to 255 reservations).

An interesting fact to note is that Lucid Motor will be the third company backed by Yueting Jia, the Chinese billionaire and LeEco's CEO, to showcase its electric vehicle in CES 2017. The two other companies are aforementioned Faraday Future with their mysterious new product, and LeEco with its new LeSee Pro. They now appear to be three independent companies with different core products. 

In terms of lithium-ion batteries, Faraday Future announced previously that it will partner with Samsung's rival LG Chem. The latter is producing batteries for Audi, Tesla and GM currently. Using a rival's battery indicates the two companies invested by one Chinese financial backer will still compete at a certain level. 

Lucid Motors CTO Peter Rawlinson also mentioned earlier that Y.T. Jia's investments in the company wasn't used for scaling. Because of this, Lucid will likely seek for more capital in 2017 from investors. Currently, the company has collected $131 million in funding in 2016. Major backers, apart from LeEco, includes China Environmental Fund, Mitsui & Co.

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