Lucid Motors, known for its luxurious yet high-priced electric vehicles, is set to expand its product lineup with a more affordable offering. The company currently produces the Air sedan and plans to unveil the Gravity SUV later this year. However, both these models fall into the premium segment, making them inaccessible to many potential buyers.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Peter Rawlinson, the CEO of Lucid Motors, explained the company's strategy. He emphasized the need to establish a presence in the high-end market before venturing into more affordable segments to attract investment.
Rawlinson stated, “We had to start with a high-end product, that's the only way I could make [the company] work commercially, the only way I could make the business work financially to attract investment.”
However, he also expressed his vision for a more accessible EV, saying, “We are targeting a price – and don't hold me to this – around $50,000. That's the vision. Right in the heart of Tesla Model 3, Model Y territory.”
Rawlinson acknowledged the demand for even more affordable electric vehicles, noting, “What the world needs, of course, is the $25,000 electric car. I think that can come as a consequence of the technology we're developing today. And we're doing that with a sense of utmost urgency.”
During the interview, Rawlinson also discussed the future of EVs' range and charging infrastructure. He advocated for more investment in slow, overnight charging options for EV owners, as opposed to solely focusing on high-speed public charging. According to Rawlinson, overnight charging “puts less strain on the grid in the U.S” and is more environmentally friendly compared to continuously operating power stations to support high-speed charging.
Interestingly, the Lucid CEO challenged the conventional belief that longer driving ranges are essential for future EVs. He proposed battery packs with around 25 kWh capacity, providing approximately 150 miles (242 km) of range. Rawlinson argued that such a range would be sufficient for most buyers, particularly once the public charging infrastructure matures.
“You need to adopt a top-and-go mentality with EVs,” Rawlinson explained. “Get a cup of coffee, use the restroom, plug in for eight minutes, top and go. The car's battery is not like a nickel-cadmium battery where topping off is bad.”
Lucid Motors' plans to enter the $50,000 EV market could pose a significant challenge to Tesla's dominance in that segment, as the company continues to push the boundaries of electric vehicle technology and affordability.