But mass producing cars is a problem of a special magnitude. Initial variations of the Air value nearly $35,000 greater than a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S Plaid. To be worthwhile, Lucid should enchantment to greater than only a superwealthy elite.

“Lucid’s biggest risks are getting to scale and capacity,” mentioned Daniel Ives, a senior analyst at Wedbush Securities who follows the electrical automotive trade. “The first phase has been significantly successful. Now it’s about the next level of adoption.”

Lucid plans to supply a model of the Air subsequent 12 months that can value $70,000 after a federal tax credit score, and produce 500,000 vehicles a 12 months by 2030, with a lineup that can embrace a sport utility car and a pickup. The firm had burned by $4.2 billion by June, and its prospectus famous that it could be years away from earning profits.

To keep away from the issues that plagued Tesla in its early days, when for some time it was assembling vehicles in tents, Mr. Rawlinson is counting on individuals like Eric Bach, Lucid’s chief engineer. Mr. Bach, one other Tesla refugee, has labored at Volkswagen and takes a really German strategy to manufacturing. He can expound at size on the artwork of attaining slender physique gaps, the areas between sheet steel that to engineers are a measure of high quality.

“We’re not intending to put any tents up,” Mr. Bach mentioned, besides maybe “to have a party.”

At the identical time, the market is more and more crowded. Automakers like Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen have invested closely in electrical automobiles.

Mr. Rawlinson has confounded naysayers earlier than. He factors out that some individuals doubted that the Model S can be a hit, or mentioned Lucid couldn’t construct a automotive with a variety of 500 miles and get it out the manufacturing unit door this 12 months. “There is a track record here of me making claims which seem unrealistic but are absolutely based on science,” he mentioned.


Nov. 17, 2021, 9:13 p.m. ET

Success would have an additional little bit of sweetness for Mr. Rawlinson, who left Tesla amid rancor with Elon Musk, the corporate’s mercurial chief govt.


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