Silicon Valley electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors said Tuesday it will begin shipping its hotly anticipated luxury EV collection in October at a time when competitors are struggling to produce new cars due to a global semiconductor shortage.
Lucid will debut four EV models. The top-end Lucid Air Dream Edition, priced at $169,000, will be available in late October, followed by the less expensive Air Grand Touring ($135,000), Air Touring ($95,000) and Air Pure ($77,400). All prices are before the potential $7,500 federal tax credit and other tax savings.
According to its website, the Air Dream Edition is already fully booked. Lucid said it has received more than 13,000 reservations across all four Air models.
A version of the Lucid Air Dream Edition recently received an EPA range rating of 520 miles (837 km), which is the longest range for any electric car rated by the agency and about 100 miles longer than Tesla’s Model S, a close rival priced at $89,990.
The next-level Lucid Air Grand Touring has an EPA rating of 516 miles on a single charge. Lucid’s CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineer known for his work on Model S, said the longer range is made possible by the company’s proprietary battery technology.
“Our technology will allow for increasingly lighter, more efficient, and less expensive EVs, and today represents a major step in our journey to expand the accessibility of more sustainable transportation,” Rawlinson said Tuesday from the company’s Arizona factory.
Rawlinson left Tesla in 2012 and joined Lucid the following year as its chief technology officer to oversee the development of Lucid Air.
Lucid’s EV rollout came at an unusual time when the auto industry is fraught with a global chip shortage.
The current wait time for Tesla Model S and Model X is three to six months. Other popular EV models, such as Volkswagan’s ID.3 and BMW’s X5 PHEV, have a similar wait time, according to the automobile review site What Car.
Lucid is feeling the impact of the chip shortage as well. The company said in June it’s evaluating alternatives to the semiconductors it had planned to use as it prepares to begin full production of its Air sedans. This year, it expects to ship only about 500 vehicles, with plans to ramp up production to up to 90,000 vehicles a year by 2023. That would be to Tesla’s capacity in 2017. Tesla has expanded significantly since then. Last year, it pushed more than half a million vehicles off the assembly line between its Fremont, Calif. and Shanghai Gigafactories.
Lucid went public on the New York Stock Exchange in July through a reverse merger with the SPAC Churchill Capital Corp IV. Shares have jumped more than 25 percent since the debut.