Tesla’s First True Competitor Is Here

(Picture: Sarah L. Voisin/Getty Images)

The Lucid Air is forcing auto-makers to plan ahead for a boom in the electric car industry.

Tesla’s former Chief Engineer, Peter Rawlinson, is launching a new electric vehicle (EV) later this year, one he claims will take the industry “to another level – a 2.0 of electrification”

The Lucid Air is planned to go to market before June 2021 and is promised to go faster and further than the Tesla Model S. While Elon Musk’s top of the line Tesla model reaches just over 650km with one charge, the new Air is promised to go over 830km.

The Lucid Air will be released as an ultra-luxurious car, priced at US$169,000. However, Rawlinson claims his strategy is to start at the high-end level and work his way down to popular, affordable cars.

This is a significantly more challenging sector of the market to break into, and it is the very same strategy being employed by Tesla on the other side of the aisle. The Lucid Company, the enterprise behind the venture, have revealed big plans to mass produce more affordable EVs in the mid-US$40,000 range in less than five years. According to Rawlinson the ultimate goal is “to be making millions of cars every year, to have a profound effect.”

The Californian start-up’s first factory is based in Arizona, but after a recent investment of US$1.3 billion by oil-rich Saudi Arabia, they are set to build a second factory near the Arabian city of Jeddah. The Saudis have previously acknowledged that relying on oil is not sustainable in the long run, so the investment is part of the country’s transitioning efforts.

The race for mass production of more affordable electric vehicles is not only being chased by these two companies. Most major auto-makers have attempted to launch their own EVs, and those who have not have plans to do so in the near future. GM went as far as promising to make all their cars electric by 2035, mirroring a pledge made by California Governor, Gavin Newsom, who announced that the state would manufacture electric cars exclusively within the same timeframe.

The US Federal Government is also making moves to achieve similar goals for the country. In his first month in office, Joe Biden ordered the entire federal fleet to be replaced with EVs, promised federal tax breaks on EV purchases to incentivise consumers, as well as funding for thousands of EV charging stations.

This increased offer by auto-makers is in response to a high demand for greener products, which experts forecast will result 50 percent growth in electric car sales in 2021. Adam Jones, a Morgan Stanley analyst who specialises in the sector, claims that the trend is rapidly growing and the industry, which is today worth US$497 billion, could climb to US$735 billion by 2027.

Other players that are expected to enter the market this year include Volkswagen, Jaguar, and Rivian, a joint-venture between Ford and Amazon.

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About Gabriel Pace 16 Articles
I was born in Brazil, on my birthday, when I was zero years old. I moved to Australia in 2006, graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Business Advertising at UTS, worked in the ad and PR worlds for a few years, but brought my marketing career to an early retirement to spend more time pursuing my passions in life: music, writing, photography and filmmaking; I wrote a lot of fiction, so it feels good to write about the real world, even if the real world doesn't always make me feel good.