Lucid Aims To Debut $50k Competitors For Tesla Model 3, Model Y

Last month American startup Lucid debuted the Gravity, its first entry in the hotly contested three-row SUV segment and an important model for the brand that currently only builds the Air luxury sedan. Speaking with Autocar in a new interview, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson says the company’s next focus is on two mainstream models that will start at “around $50,000.”

Rawlinson, who used to be chief engineer of Tesla, explicitly calls out these new cars as direct competitors for the Tesla Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover. Correcting previous reports that these cars wouldn’t be coming out until closer to 2030, Rawlinson told Autocar:

“I’ve formally stated mid-late decade, and that has been completely misquoted as the end of the decade – 2030. What I mean is ‘not 2025’. It’s a few years away, but it’s close. It takes three and a half years to do a car, and we’ve started… and that wasn’t yesterday.”

A debut in 2026 would be pretty impressive if Lucid can pull it off. The brand still hasn’t hit regular production and demand targets for the Air, which is built in Arizona, and it has yet to achieve profitability. New lower-priced models should help, but the Gravity won’t enter production in Arizona until late 2024, and that will need to be scaled up too.

In conversation with Autocar Rawlinson also gave more details on what to expect from the new, smaller models:

“We have to go with volume, because that’s what we’re about,” he said, explaining that Lucid had to launch the high-end Air and Gravity first because of the costs involved in setting up a new car company.

“The mid-sized [line] is going to be overtly a Tesla competitor – Model 3, Model Y. This is the first time I’ve ever said it: we’re going to compete in that market – high-volume family car.

“And how can we compete? Because we’ve got the most advanced technology, which means we can go farther with less battery, and the battery is the most high-cost item of an electric car. So if you can go a certain distance with less battery, you can make that car more cheaply than anyone else.”

This is exciting news, because Lucid really does know how to make a damn good car. While we wait for these next models, which probably won’t debut before 2025 (unless Lucid wants to show a concept), hopefully the brand is able to improve and increase Air production and have a successful launch of the Gravity to minimize potential launch issues for the higher-volume cars — just look at what’s been happening with the Chevy Blazer EV.

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