Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson has shared his plan to launch a more affordable model in the coming years. The California-based start-up currently offers the Air luxury saloon, whose prices range from $82,400, excluding taxes and fees, for the Pure variant, to a whopping $249,000 for the Air Sapphire.
In an interview with ABC News, Rawlinson covered several topics concerning the current automotive landscape, sharing his perspective on range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and the brand’s goal of launching a relatively affordable EV. He added that a high-end product at the start was necessary to attract investment.
The brand announced in June 2023 that it was raising $3 billion, the majority of which would be sourced from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – the largest stakeholder in Lucid Motors with over 60 percent of its shares. Rawlinson then shared the target price of its future EV, which he indicated would make it competitive.
His vision is to launch an EV at around $50,000 (approx. £40,000), “right in the heart of the Tesla Model 3, Model Y territory.” As per the current prices, that’s close to the upper end of the Model 3 and Model Y prices. We’ve seen on multiple occasions that the Model 3 can cost well under $30,000 (£23,850) after applying the federal tax credit and state-level incentives.
Even though Rawlinson agreed that the world needs a $25,000 (£20,000) EV, a $50,000 (£40,000) model is the best the brand can achieve between the mid- to late-decade time frame. Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineer, led the Tesla team that designed the North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug.
He added that it was rare for EV customers to drive over 500 miles in a single day, and expressed the need for wider Level 2 charging infrastructure in locations like apartment buildings and street car parks. DC fast charging is detrimental to the environment, to the grid, and to the car’s battery, he said, encouraging more overnight charging.
Lucid is among the few automakers to not have adopted the Tesla charging standard yet. Several major brands followed Ford after it announced NACS adoption from 2024 with an adapter, and eventually with a built-in connector. Rawlinson added that he was “open-minded” about it, and was considering “everything.”