Lucid Motors entered the automotive world with its high-end offering, the luxury Lucid Air sedan. That trend is set to continue with the upcoming Gravity SUV. These electric vehicles (EVs) boast impressive range and performance figures but come with high price tags, as high as a quarter million dollars, putting them out of reach for many consumers.
Despite struggling to sell its cars, the luxury electric automaker wants to make its EVs more accessible to more people. CEO Peter Rawlinson, the highest paid automotive CEO by far, shed light on the company’s plans to bring affordable EVs to the market.
In an interview with ABC News, Rawlinson said he is aware of the primary barrier to widespread EV adoption: the high cost of entry.
“The key obstacle to widespread adoption in the U.S. and worldwide is the entry price point of an electric car. I am profoundly aware that we need to push the price down so more people can afford electric cars… I am not here to build an expensive car that only rich people can afford.” Rawlinson said.
To address this, Lucid is working towards a more affordable EV model with a target price of around US$50,000, Rawlinson explained. However, that EV likely won’t arrive until the end of the decade.
“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. I wish I could go to a lower-price car but it’s the best this company can do in this mid- to late decade time frame,” he said.
Rawlinson believes that the key to achieving this goal lies in improving EV efficiency. By designing more efficient vehicles that can travel greater distances on smaller battery packs, Lucid can then reduce production costs. The company aims to achieve an efficiency of 6 miles per kilowatt-hour, with the Lucid Air currently achieving 4.74 miles per kilowatt-hour.
In a departure from the trend of larger batteries for extended range, Rawlinson thinks the future is highly efficient cars equipped with 25kWh batteries that can cover 150 miles (241km) on a single charge. This approach promotes shorter charging sessions, making EVs even more convenient for daily use.
Expanding its product lineup to include more affordable EVs is a strategic move for Lucid and is likely the only way the company is going to survive. However, they face the challenge of finding the right balance between technology, cost-efficiency, and production scalability. Yet, as Tesla has demonstrated, going from the Model S to the Model 3, navigating this path successfully can yield significant rewards.