I have seen a lot of would-be, world-saving electric automakers come and go. There have been dozens of upstarts and game-changers that never made it past press releases and prototypes, and only a few ever reached roads as finished products. Remember CODA, Th!nk, and Project Better Place? I barely do, and I wrote plenty of stories about the rise and fall of all three companies.
That’s my long-winded lead into the announcement that Lucid Motors will debut its 1,000 horsepower “executive sedan” next week, as reported by Automotive News. Powering the as-yet-unnamed sedan is a 100 kWh battery pack from Samsung’s battery division. A joint statement from Lucid and Samsung claims a 300-mile base driving range, and an optional 130 kWh pack for up to 400 miles of driving range, with a 0 to 60 MPH sprint under 3 seconds.
Lucid joins the likes of LeEco, Faraday Future,Detroit Electric, and whatever the hell they’re calling the Fisker Karma these days as would-be Tesla competitors convinced they can replicate the success of Elon Musk’s moonshot. We have gone full circle, from trying to build electric cars for the masses to only building them for the well-heeled few.
Lucid’s game plan is loony, aiming to start consumer sales in 2019 with as many as 8,000 cars in year one, for a sedan that will cost over $100,000 to start. I wonder if anybody consulted with former Fisker employees about the viability of such a plan?
A site has been chosen for a $700 million factory in Arizona, with production slated to begin in 2018 and direct-to-consumer sales starting in 2019. Were it not for Samsung’s involvement, I’d write the whole thing off as vaporware. Samsung has however sunk a lot of money into battery technology in a rush to catch up with rivals Panasonic and LG Chem. I’m not at all convinced Lucid isn’t just another flash-in-the-pan, but having Samsung attached to the project does lend it a little bit of credibility.
As in, they might make a few hundred vehicles before going belly-up.