Lucid, a Tesla-like EV startup, plans 1,500 jobs in Arizona by the end of this year. The Silicon Valley company currently has three buildings in Arizona, including the main manufacturing facility in Casa Grande.
Arizona provides close proximity to Lucid’s headquarters in Newark, California. The company employs 600 people in Arizona now, but plans to have as many as 1,500 by the end of 2021.
The Casa Grande factory will expand in four phases as production increases over the next several years. Phase two was recently announced, to be completed by 2023. By the end of 2021, Lucid hopes to produce 6-7,000 cars. By the end of phase four, the company hopes to be producing 400,000 cars a year.
The CEO of Lucid is Peter Rawlinson, former VP of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla and the former chief engineer on Tesla’s Model S. Lucid has largely followed Tesla’s strategy to provide a direct to consumer experience. And, like Tesla, Lucid has developed its own software. The company agrees that being in control of the end-to-end process, from quality to technology to customer service, is the best way to move forward.
“Everything that will get it down the road, we’ve built in-house,” said Andrew Hussey, a representative from Lucid. Still, Lucid doesn’t make the car’s battery and has partnered with Electrify America to build the charging network.
But the company is determined to avoid the comparison with Tesla.
“We understand the similarities and comparisons to Tesla, but we don’t consider them our competitors,”Hussey said. Instead, Lucid is being marketed as a luxury EV vehicle. According to Hussey, Lucid would be the first to enter that space — a fact that might be disputed by Tesla. Lucid’s base model, the Lucid Air Pure, starts at $69,900 and is most comparable to Tesla’s Model S, which starts at $79,990. Lucid’s most expensive model is the Air Dream Edition, starting at $161,500.
Lucid is backed by more than $1 billion from the Sovereign Fund of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is ironically a major international oil producer.
The company is in the middle of quality control testing, which will continue through late spring. There are currently six showrooms, located in California and Florida, and plans for 14 more in 2021. Test vehicles are not yet in showrooms, but the first delivery of the first batch of cars, the Lucid Air Dream, will also happen in late spring. Reservations can already be made on the Lucid website.