In Casa Grande, Arizona, Lucid Motors has started construction of its electric car plant and says it will invest more than 300 million dollars. The first phase of the factory construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.
The first Lucid model, the purely electric luxury sedan Lucid Air, will be launched on the market the same year. According to the US American electric vehicle company, the plant signals its long-term commitment in the region. With subsequent phases, the total investment is expected to amount to more than $700 million by the mid-2020s. Lucid Motors chose the Casa Grande location because of factors such as the area’s business climate and infrastructure following an extensive search in more than 13 US states.
Although the new plant will initially be manufacturing their luxury sedan Lucid Air, several other models will follow, but the company has not specified these further. In 2017 the electric car startup announced that the premium version of the Lucid Air would sport 735 kW and a range of 640 km for around 100,000 dollars. The base-level Air will be not quite half the price with 60,000 dollars but will have less than half the power with 294 kW, but the company claimed this will still have a 385 km range.
Approximately 4,800 direct and indirect jobs will be created in the Casa Grande region. For the area, the company also promises estimated revenues of $32 billion for the city and county over the next 20 years, as well as education programs and new curricula at local community colleges.
Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid, reiterated that the Lucid Air would be developed, designed and manufactured entirely in America. “With supportive investors, an outstanding team of designers and engineers, and a product strategy that extends well beyond the Air, we expect today to be just the start of a longstanding presence in this dynamic city,” Rawlinson said of the factory.
The city of Casa Grande and the state of Arizona are hoping that the Lucid site will send a signal. “Attracting a high-tech automotive manufacturer like Lucid Motors to Arizona is a testament to the talent, business environment, and geographic location our state has to offer innovative companies to help them succeed,” said Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey.
Lucid will no longer meet the 2017 plans to build 10,000 of the Air by 2019 though, with production now scheduled to start by the end of 2020. The company has now brought in Tesla’s former production manager Peter Hochholdinger. The money to build the plant will come in part from the Middle East. Last year, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF invested a billion dollars in Lucid Motors and is also holding stakes in Tesla.
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