Meet a prospective Tesla competitor – the “Lucid”. Is it yet another EV start-up?

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Everyone knows about Tesla nowadays. It seems people have taken them all over the world now – from making it an Airbnb listing in the US to placing a sheep in Model S’ ‘frunk’ in Kazakhstan. Along with the popularity among people, other car manufacturers also started taking Tesla more seriously. The biggest German automotive players announced plans to have complete line-ups of electric vehicles by mid 2020s. However, the most direct competitors to the Palo Alto based company like Fisker or Faraday have really struggled to posses any serious threat so far. This one looks different though – Lucid Motors.

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Lucid like Tesla is based in California. Previously known as ‘Atieva’, the company was founded in 2007 in Menlo Park. Early years were spent on development of battery technologies and the actual car model design has been in works since 2014. Many of Lucid’s employees are well-experienced guys from other automotive companies and Tesla seems to be the primary source for new hires. For example, Peter Rawlinson (the former chief engineer for Tesla’s Model S) is the CTO and Bernard Tse, a former Tesla vice president and board member, helped to co-found the company.

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So far alongside 3 teasers of its concept car, Lucid Motors has only revealed several videos of its’ test mule based on Mercedes-Benz van. With the latest Inverter 3.0 version clocked an impressive 2.74sec in 0-60 mph(96 kmph) and 11.3sec on 1/4 mile (402m) drag race. Still it lost to Tesla Model S, but how did they get that close? The answer is simple – 1000 HP and all-wheel drive.

Ok, how about some production models? The company promises to unveil its first prototype on December 14 this year aiming to have a luxury sedan on the road in 2018 with SUV model coming in 2020-2021. Sound really similar to the way Tesla got to the market. Lucid’s trick up its sleeve is aforementioned battery technologies. Engineers are planning to use 2170 type of battery, ones that will go in Model 3 – slightly larger than Model S’ 18650, they are cheaper and have fewer connectors. Moreover, Lucid will be the official supplier of batteries for Formula E championship – 56 kwhr capacity should be enough for the whole race now.

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There’s still a lot to tell about the company, so stay tuned for more info on Lucid Motor, its EV technologies and plans for the future because this time it doesn’t look ludicrous.

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