Lucid Motors Finds Out Building An Electric Car Takes Lots Of Money

Lucid Motors is finding out the hard way that building a new electric car cost a lot of money. Short of funds, it has approached Ford about buying the company, but Ford has rebuffed Lucid’s advances, saying it has bigger fish to fry than owning the rights to the only electric car on the horizon that appears able to compete head to head with the Tesla Model S. Is this just another example of the “Not Invented Here” syndrome that has afflicted American car makers since the Coolidge administration?

Lucid Air sedan

Some may remember that Tesla — the mighty empire that threatens to topple old school companies left and right — once had a similar moment of angst. That’s when Elon thought of approaching Apple with an offer to buy the company. Things have improved a bit for Tesla since then.

Lucid is turning heads this week with a new video that shows its sedan, the Lucid Air, touching 235 miles per hour on a test track. That makes it one of the fastest production cars on the face of the planet. It has signed a deal for a $700,000,000 factory south of Phoenix, Arizona but has yet to begin construction.

Lucid’s chief technology, officer Peter Rawlinson, who guided the Tesla Model S to production, says, “We don’t have the money in place. That’s why we need to secure Series D. It would be irresponsible to start moving earth or start anything until we have a financial runway to execute that professionally and with absolute integrity.”

Bloomberg reports, “Electric carmaker Lucid Motors Inc. is raising a new round of financing and is also considering an outright sale after holding early-stage takeover talks with Ford Motor Co., according to people familiar with the situation. The Menlo Park, California, based firm has hired Morgan Stanley to help raise more money to pay for further development of its vehicle and a new manufacturing plant in Arizona.”

Industry sources say Lucid reached out to Ford to explore a takeover deal. Lucid reportedly talked to some high-level execs at Ford, but the deal was turned down. Maybe another time, Ford management allegedly said.

Of course, why would Ford, which has nothing resembling a compelling electric car in its portfolio and won’t for a decade or two, be interested in a car that has been fully developed and is ready for production now? Don’t be ridiculous! Not invented here, you know.

Losing Lucid would be a shame for several reasons. For one thing, Elon Musk has been begging other manufacturers to build compelling electric cars for several years now. The Lucid Air appears to be just such a “compelling” competitor.

For a second thing, if Lucid fails, that will give traditional automakers cover for their dastardly plot to appear to be building compelling electric cars while pointing out to anyone who will listen, “See? We told you. Nobody wants electric cars.”

Save a prayer for Lucid.

Source: Inside EVs

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.