California EV start-up reportedly courting new investment and potential buyers, following failed talks with Ford
Although relatively new to the market, and without a car in commercial production, start-up US EV developer Lucid Motors is seeking to be acquired.
The firm says it has several suitors, although news of a potential sale follows reports that Lucid had approached Ford Motor in private acquisition talks, only to be rebuffed.
Based in Silicon Valley, Lucid has positioned and marketed itself as a potential rival to Tesla. The luxury Lucid Air, with a 240-mile range, will have a starting price of US$52,500. Adding weight to their comparison, current CEO Peter Rawlinson, was also once a lead engineer at Tesla.
Lucid has come a considerable distance, having tested electric cars on public roads, but has yet to begin the tough job of selling them to consumers. Commercial production of the Air is now expected to begin in 2019, pushed back a year from its original goal during 2018.
The company is in the midst of attempting to secure its fifth round of funding, Series D, worth around US$700 million, to develop its Arizona production facility. The first phase of this development, estimated at around US$240 million, would help the site reach production rates of 8-10,000 vehicles per year.
However, the current outlook for disruptive EV developers may not be rosy. News of Lucid’s potential sale also comes shortly after rival Chinese start-up Faraday Future nixed plans for a factory near Las Vegas and saw US$2.5 billion in assets frozen by the Chinese government.
Lucid may have a viable luxury EV interloper in the form of the Air, but the Tesla-like production and sales network it envisions seems a long way off at present. Reportedly short of cash, the company may have to look to some innovative ideas and dramatically alter its plans if it is to realise the EV as promised.