This past weekend, Lucid Motors opened the doors to its Toronto showroom in Yorkdale, ushering in its second foothold in the Canadian market. The Luxury EV maker — a brand whose first entry to the market has garnered significant acclaim, including winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award for 2022 — seems to be off to a solid start, with its first Canadian deliveries arriving later this spring. With this in mind, we sat down with Lucid’s VP of Sales, Zak Edson, and Product PR Manager David Buchko, with the intent of getting a closer look at where the brand is headed from here.
A quick walk around the mall-style showroom reveals a clear focus on both technology and quality. A single Lucid Air sits centrally in the showroom, flanked by a wall showcasing the brand’s motor, battery, and control system technology. Stepping further inward, we’re presented with various swatches for interior and exterior finishes, as well built immersive VR rig, designed to give prospect clients the ability to see different interior and exterior combinations first hand. Developed by a California-based gaming firm, the programming is incredibly seamless and user friendly — a welcome presentation while cars remain so scarce in the market. This will also be a help in the early days of operation, as the car itself is likely to be crowded with onlookers who have been waiting patiently to see the Air “in the metal”. To be frank, it’s been worth the wait, as the overall fit and finish of the Lucid’s interior leaves little to be desired.
The Cars Now
Speaking with both Zach and David, one resounding statement seems omnipresent: an outright refusal to compromise. When discussing the Air’s 800km range, its 900-volt system architecture, and even its interior materials, the eyes are clearly locked on exceeding expectations. “When designing the Lucid Air, it was more than a matter of just trying to raise the bar a little,” states Buchko. “It’s about showing the potential of raising the bar a lot.”
Unlike other makers who seem content to load their cars with more and more battery capacity, Lucid remains focused on the conversation surrounding overall efficiency, without compromising the quality, design, and feel of the car itself. On that talking point, Lucid has just announced a partnership with Electrify Canada, which will give owners access to free 350 kWh high-speed charging free for two years.
As it stands, the Lucid Air is going to be offered in a total of four editions. The “Dream Edition” is the first of the pack, and if you weren’t already on the reservations list, they’re no longer available. The range topper came with a sticker price of $229,000, but from there things do get a touch more approachable. The subsequent lineup, whose range will shorten nominally, and whose finishes will be altered accordingly, will include the Air Grand Touring ($189,000), Touring ($129,000), and the Pure ($105,000). The two more approachable offerings still won’t be light on range, with stats coming in at around 683 kilometres per full charge. Each of these models is expected to be delivering in both the US and Canada before the end of 2022.
The Cars To Come
For those less familiar, Lucid is led by Peter Rawlinson — the man behind the Tesla Model S is both CEO and CTO of the company. It’s been clear in communication that Lucid is “what we would do if there was a Tesla 2.0”, so my big wonder when walking into the meeting was where Lucid goes from here. A 3-row SUV has already been announced, with the projected launch set for 2024. Though a lot can happen in a couple of years as a startup brand, I pressed Edson on what we should expect from there. “We’ll always be a premium brand, without question, but we will be moving towards a smaller, more approachable model after the SUV has launched.”
Though specific details were obviously out of the question, we did get as far as what the competitive field would look like. “Something in the range of a 3-series is an area that we’d obviously want to compete in.” he tells me. In essence, this reads a lot like the Tesla product map — Model S, Model X, Model 3 — but I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.
The Manufacturing Roadmap
Having built its own manufacturing facilities in Arizona, which is rather uncommon these days, the goals of scale are clearly within reach so long as the brand keeps growing. Sitting on a 400-acre plot, phase one of the brand’s manufacturing facility is up and running, and ground has already been broken on phase two. For 2022, Lucid’s recently amended production target is 12,000 to 14,000 cars — a number that was recently scaled back from 20,000. That said, the plan for growth is already laid out. Once at what Buchko calls “phase five”, Lucid aims to be manufacturing a total of 365,000 cars per year. When and how they get there is still up in the air, but the site and the planning is in place to make it happen nonetheless.
While America will always be the company core, there’s more manufacturing in the plans as the brand sets its sights on the rest of the global market. As the brand moves its showrooms into the European market (with eyes on Munich, Paris, Scandinavia, and other usual suspects), they’ve already entered talks to set up a manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia, adding the capacity to build another additional 150,000 cars pre year. China is also a consideration, though Lucid seems to be holding back at the moment.
Should I Reserve a Lucid Air Now?
If you’re hoping to get your hands on a car in the next year, the simple answer is yes, as you’re likely already going to be waiting longer than that. While Lucid has not split the numbers down by region, they have confirmed that they currently have 25,000 reservations and counting. With Canada’s fast-charging network growing rapidly, nearly as fast as gas prices are soaring, the Air is an easy sell for those with the means to afford it.