Lucid CEO Says Tesla Isn’t Their Main Competitor — Mercedes-Benz Is

In a recent interview with Yahoo! Finance’s “On the Move,” Peter Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid Motors, shared his thoughts on Lucid’s main competition and the focus of Lucid. It is natural to compare Lucid with Tesla since both companies are focusing on electric vehicles and Rawlinson has a bit of history at Tesla. He was a top engineer for the Model S before he joined Lucid Motors in 2013. As CEO and CTO of Lucid, he is aiming for the company to start the production of the Lucid Air Dream in the spring of 2021.

Rawlinson wants to focus on the luxury segment of the auto industry and establish Lucid as a true luxury brand. “I think it’s really important that we start at a high-end position as a true luxury brand. I’m a great believer that the first product defines the brand, in the way Tesla Model S defined Tesla as a brand,” he said.

The Air Dream Edition is planned to be priced at $161,500. “It’s absolutely my mission and ambition to make sustainable mobility, more widespreadly adopted. And we can only do that by progressively making cars at more attainable price points. And that’s why I’m so pleased that we’re going to bring in the sort of foundation for the whole Lucid Air range — the Air at more attainable price points in early 2022, so it can’t come soon enough,” he said.

One question that was asked concerned the number of prototypes made and tested. Rawlinson said that they have a fleet of 80 basic prototypes. “These are not concept cars. These are real engineering prototypes.” He noted that Lucid built its alpha fleet a few years ago and that this beta fleet is broadly 95% production representative. Lucid is currently building them on a pilot line in order to learn from the process of construction, as well as the attributes from the prototypes.

“The first prototypes are for developing the fundamentals of the car — the structure, the suspension, the ride and handling, the durability. But as we go through the prototype process, we layer on the testing of different attributes for noise and vibration, the fit and finish, and the interior.” He also added that they were doing a lot of work with the HVAC.

Can Lucid Succeed?

Rawlinson was asked about the potential for Lucid to actually succeed. “I’m really disappointed. I mean, Tesla’s got a preeminent lead over the others now by many years because Tesla recognizes this is a technology race. We recognize that. I’m disappointed that the traditional automakers are not moving fast enough.”

He added that Lucid came onto the scene to accelerate this process. “Tesla can’t do this alone. We need to accelerate this technology race for a widespread adoption of sustainable mobility. That is our mission. And if you apply one key metric to the ability of any EV company to demonstrate this technology, that is efficiency.” He pointed out that the other automakers who have made EVs are not there with the efficiency except for Tesla, which he said Lucid is surpassing. “The traditional automakers are just not rising to the plate — stepping up to the plate — fast enough. It’s as simple as that.”

Lucid’s Main Competitor

One of the questions posed to Rawlinson was how Lucid planned to compete with Tesla. “Our main competitor is a car company. I’d highlight Mercedes-Benz in terms of the attributes of Lucid Air. We’re going after S Class Mercedes. But it’s a natural comparison and I accept that comparison with Tesla.” He also spoke of vertical integration and what it meant for Lucid.

“I think that it’s absolutely crucial for us to be super vertically integrated in the key areas that offer maximum value. So we’re going super vertically integrated in the design and development and integration of our electric powertrain technology, and the manufacturing of that. We’re not going to buy in our motors, we’re not going to buy in our battery packs. We can actually buy cells in from LG Chem, but we’re going to develop our own cells longer term,” he said.

You can watch Rawlinson’s full interview with Yahoo! Finance for more.

Original Publication by Johnna Crider at CleanTechnica.

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