Today, something very peculiar happened. News about an EV testing, from a well-known car manufacturer, was overshadowed by an incomplete pre-alpha version of an EV from an unknown car manufacturer, which doesn’t even have its factory…
Everything should have been so majestic in knowing that General Motors finally started testing their Chevrolet Bolt EV. That is a state of the art, an autonomous vehicle which could battle Tesla in the market. That program started earlier this year, and there were some official pictures of the rig, doing its thing. Manufacturing process is almost done, and those cars (fully loaded with all the equipment) will be ready to hit the streets in a couple of years. Over 500 Million dollars of investments shaped that car and its release is inevitable.
On the other hand, we have a car from the company called Lucid Motors. They claim to have a prototype EV, which will go head to head with Tesla Model S. And not only do they claim to have a match for Tesla Model S. They claim to have a better EV. Their EV is faster, more luxurious and it has a longer range.
Who is Lucid Motors?
They are an electric company which was founded in 2007, with the main facility placed in Menlo Park, California. Their employees are from Mazda, Tesla, and some other car companies. Their main contributors are mainly Chinese financial companies and a branch of a Rockefeller foundation called “Venrock”. During 2016, they invested over $131Million into the project, and they plan to build a $700 Million manufacturing facility in Casa Grande in Arizona. That kind of a facility will have over 2,000 workers and they plan to begin the manufacturing process in a couple of years. Plans are to build from 20,000 to 130,000 vehicles per year. The question is, will there be a market for that many vehicles?
2019 Lucid Air Release Date and Price
The 2019 Lucid Air release date will be two years from now. And that is a big IF! Some of the journalists had an opportunity to get into the car, and experience it themselves, and they say that it is equipped with good materials, and it looks good, but there are wires all around the car. However, that lack of tidiness didn’t bother them at all. As soon as the vehicle started going from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, all the negative remarks vanished as quickly as they came to the minds of former disbelievers.
The 2019 Lucid Air price is going to be somewhere around $100,000 for the base model. They plan to make it simpler and to lower the price all the way to $60,000 but we are talking about the initial release here.
2019 Lucid Air Exterior
The first version of the 2019 Lucid Air exterior was made out of aluminum and it reminded me of a Knight Rider from the front. That look is just a rendered version of a final product and it is not something that has to be a final product. It has a stream of LED daylight running lights and a toned glass roof that goes through the whole length of the vehicle, with a thin metal split on each side. All the side pillars are black and in tone with glass, so it appears like one cohesive mass.
The entire vehicle is shaped like it came out of the “Back to the Future 2” and you can almost see it fly in some distant future. The rear has one red LED line of taillights that goes all the way around the trunk, just below the miniature spoiler.
2019 Lucid Air Interior
Since we only have the testimonies of the lucky reviewers who had their share of “Lucid Air” experience, the only details about the 2019 Lucid Air interior, are theirs.
The entire interior will be made of high-quality materials and it will be one of the main “aces” in a war against Tesla Motors. Actually, I don’t think that competition is some kind of a problem for Elon Musk. He is the one person on this planet that simply wants to save it. Just after the final release of Tesla Model S, Musk offered his patent to any company that wants to compete with his company. So, I think of this like a beginning of some kind of brotherhood between EV companies, and not like war.
Nevertheless, quality is there. Naturally, the interior was not finished but it was more than some of the luxurious cars don’t have even as complete finished products.
The back seats are made to recline in a push of a button. You have a feeling like it’s the first class in an airplane. Imagine that feeling of laying in a luxury vehicle, gazing through the glass roof, into stars… But enough of daydreaming, we are going to the front seats.
The dashboard is filled with three displays. Everything can be controlled with them, even the climate, although it has some manual controls on the side. The additional, fourth display can emerge, on a push of a button. And if you think that all those screens make one big pile of mess, you are wrong. The entire car is incomplete, but you can already see the order of things in this car, and every single detail is right where it should be.
2019 Lucid Air Engine
We better call this one battery and not the 2019 Lucid Air engine. Battery technology developed for this car was the first thing they had done. First batteries then aluminum frame and as a cherry on the top, the final reveal, which happened yesterday.
The main drive is made of two motors. They are not made as equal. The front has 400hp and the rear one has 600hp. That kind of strength will get this vehicle to the top of the fastest vehicles, and the strange thing is that this doesn’t come as a surprise. Their 2170 standard for lithium-ion batteries is used in Formula E for the next two seasons. Lucid made those batteries in a cooperation with Samsung SDI, and we sincerely hope that those batteries will not explode like some of Samsung’s products…
Like we have already said, the range of those batteries will be over 400 miles and with that kind of motors and batteries, 2019 Lucid Air will accelerate from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds.
For comparing purposes, a longest range for Tesla’s latest Model S P100D will be about 315 miles on a single charge, and it can accelerate from 0-60 in the same time as the 2019 Lucid Air will.
Just to be clear, the 2019 Lucid Air is a pre-production vehicle, and they made just a couple of them, for testing and marketing purposes. Data we have is something Lucid claim to have. Tesla Model S is the only reality, for now.
2019 Lucid Air Summary
The final version of 2019 Lucid Air is not even complete. Journalists had the honor to drive in pre-production versions of the vehicle, improvised just for them. Test vehicles, if we can call them like that, were incomplete, but astonishing. The exterior and interior were made by professional designers, and you could clearly see the cues taken from Tesla. This is not something we should scratch our heads for, because Lucid took a lot of former employees from Mazda, Toyota, and Tesla.
The plan for this car is to have all the sensors, cameras, radars and LIDAR other semiautonomous have, but to leave them deactivated. Updates are going to have them activated when company finishes its testing.
Lucid Air is now in a development stage, the company is taking pre-orders and down payments. The initial payment is $2,500 and buyers can expect the final product in a couple of years. The final price is going to be somewhere around $100,000.
Although it is a beautiful vehicle, Lucid first has to build the factory and start the production, before we make our final verdict. It is a good idea for now.