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Inside Lucid Motors $700 Million Factory | Is Lucid the new Tesla Rival?

Californian company Lucid Motors is expected to become a big name in the future of car manufacturing joining rivals Tesla at the top of the electric car market. Tesla though have had cars on the market since 2008 while Lucid have been biding their time for the 13 years since their foundation, dabbling in other markets and waiting for the time to strike that time is now with their debut model, The Lucid Air fully developed and production around the corner.


Lucid have opened a massive facility in Casa Grande Arizona. The company have Ginormous production figures already outlined for their entry in what's sure to be a lucrative future market for more environmentally friendly transport. The new factory runs to just under a million square feet or around 17 American football fields and cost around 700 million dollars to set up.

It's located between Tucson and Phoenix off interstate 10. A version of luxury electric sedan of the air will be the Lucid models launch model and the Arizona facility will be producing them at pace a car every 10 minutes once they get up to speed. The debut model The Air Dream will begin rolling off the production line sometime in spring of 2021.

The factory itself was completed in late 2020 just over a year after construction started and is state of the art in what will be a rapid production process designed to deliver in bulk the look is highly advanced. A collection of human monitored robots swinging cars into position as they swing through

The various processes the plant can actually be broken down into two distinct factories one is called the AMP-1 Advanced Manufacturing Plant one and is where the main process of putting together the cars takes place.

The second is a Powertrain factory where the power element of the car from modules to battery pack is constructed. The all-new manufacturing system at amp-1 embraces advanced processes such as an aircraft inspired riveted and bonded Monocoque body structure replacing spot welds the company said on announcing the new facility. This gives the Lucid Air state-of-the-art structural efficiency that powertrain of course is the key to breaking into a burgeoning electric market.

inside lucid motors factory

Lucid will need to convince the kind of luxury users that their vehicle is aimed at that it can replace a petrol equivalent their target point of comparison is said to be Mercedes luxury range. Early measures suggest that the car will be able to travel an impressive 517 miles on a single charge with the top model producing 1080 horsepower importantly the company also estimates that it'll be possible to recharge to 300 mile range in just a 20 minute charging session that charging will be free for three years at electrified charging stations as part of the purchase price.

For the entry-level car that drive chain will consist of a single electric motor while every other model will feature dual Motors with a top of the line model able to complete the quarter mile in 9.9 seconds accelerating to 144 miles per hour in that time.

The high end model will have a top speed of 168 miles per hour. Lucid have had plenty of practice in producing speed from electricity in their pre-mass market days one of their main projects has been producing electric power sources for Formula E an electric only car racing championship.

The new street cars will start as an Aluminium frame in the body shop, a production process that is heavily automated. Robots will paint the chassis ahead of the arrival on the trim line where the cosmetic and comfort aspects of the interior of the cars are assembled. The interior is one of the areas on which the company is hanging its luxury status.

The passenger seats are meant to be extremely spacious enough to comfortably seat three adults. The executive version will include space to recline those seats too. The cabin features a largely glass roof giving an airy feel and giving the car its name.

The trunk space which is at the front rather than rear will feature 10 cubic feet of space which places it at the head of the market for storage the onboard entertainment will be voice activated and programmed to recognize a user's speech patterns recording preferences in music and climate control and adjusting accordingly.

lucid-motors-factory-incide view robots

A 34-inch curved glass 5k display will sit in front of the driver and is designed to appear as if it floats above the dashboard. A second central digital display will be retractable revealing storage space tucked behind it.

“I love what Tesla is doing with electric but I'm not getting out of my Mercedes for a model S” Lucid CEO peter Rawlington said of the high-end approach.

With the main body of the car in place, it travels through the factory to be attached to the battery pack with the wheels and doors then attached there are then a number of testing centers where the quality of the final product is checked before the car rolls out of the factory.

Once it's up and running tech benefits expected to be included as part of the car safety program include lane assist, blind spot monitoring, cruise control, collision warning and ultimately though certainly not on the early models the company intends to introduce self-driving too.

Rawlinson introduced his factory as America's first purpose-built electric vehicle factory pointing to the models running off the lines behind him which were pre-production versions of the Air's Dream model being used to help determine which version of the car will eventually see full production in line with many modern day cars. Rawlinson has described the air as a computer on wheels. He explains the car comes to life through the activation of its operating system through onboard computers and that moment essentially offers the moment of truth about the assembly that comes before it and its success or otherwise.

Rawlinson incidentally is the former lead engineer on the Tesla model s so he knows a bit about bringing these kinds of cars together and about his main rivals while the Lucid factory will be up and running before too long there are meaty plans to expand the operation already in place too with the company clearly anticipating rapid market penetration and significant early success with the Air.

When it does hit the market the air is expected to be priced starting at 77000 and rising to 169000 for the high end dream edition a price point that reflects its touted luxury status. The company will effectively work down in terms of which cars they are producing with the fourth and cheapest pure mode of the Air due to going to production in 2022.


Despite its production in Arizona, the Air's tagline is the story of California, reflecting the company's origin. Lucid feels that the slick design evokes the state's landscape and the company's ambition. The Pinal county factory is on lease at 1.8 million dollars per year. Production capacity will initially be at 34000 builds a year but with the company planning for the addition of a second car an SUV called The Gravity, the factory will expand into producing more than 90000 cars annually. The expansion of the factory is expected to begin in the summer of 2022. In anticipation of the Gravity model being available commercially in 2023.

Then phase three of the build is intended to be a massive expansion though Rawlinson isn't ready to put a date on that just yet should the first two stages go well however he anticipates the Arizona site will eventually be producing more than 400000 cars every year.

The final volume of the factory will be in excess of 5 million square feet or more than 100 football pitches but this whole process almost didn't happen. Saudi Arabian investment in September of 2018 helped the company escape a difficult financial position having struggled to attract investors and enabled the factory to be put together and the company to enter the mass market.

With that financing in place Lucid Motors it seems are all set to go big. But do the cars interest you enough to be an early adopter? If so is it the technology, the brand or the green ethos around electric vehicles that appeals. Tell us in the comments.

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