Tesla vs. Lucid: Here’s how the EV rivals are and aren’t alike

Porsche, Audi, General Motors and different established automakers are making an attempt to tackle Tesla with splashy new electrical automobiles, however the first actual competitors from an upstart might come from Lucid Motors, an organization run by a former chief engineer on the Tesla Model S.

Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson is following his former boss Elon Musk’s playbook on the subject of manufacturing, some know-how, dealerships and service. But it is charting a special path on electric-vehicle charging stations, automated driving methods and promoting.

Here’s how Lucid, which introduced plans final week to go public by way of a SPAC deal, and Tesla examine with one another:



Lucid struck a cope with LG Chem to produce battery cells, the most expensive a part of any electrical automobile, for its customary battery packs for its Lucid Air sedan. The firm mentioned it should announce extra suppliers in the future.

Tesla already has offers with Panasonic, Samsung, LG and CATL for cell provide for each its battery packs and power storage merchandise together with the Powerwall.

Lucid has mentioned it plans to fabricate power storage merchandise, each house batteries and utility-scale gadgets. But Lucid will not have the distraction and capital burdens of operating a photo voltaic enterprise, like Tesla has carried out since buying SolarCity in the fall of 2016.

Tesla’s historical past with battery provide companions may show a bonus for Tesla near-term.

Through its longstanding partnership with Panasonic, Tesla locked in undisclosed pricing phrases in addition to investments from the Japanese battery maker. Together, they personal and function a large battery plant outdoors of Reno, Nevada.

Tesla makes the battery packs for its automobiles on one facet of the manufacturing facility, whereas Panasonic produces cells for them on the different facet. However, Tesla informed traders in September that it began producing its personal cells at a pilot plant in Fremont, California, as properly.

Lucid expects to supply greater than 500,000 automobiles per yr by 2030. Musk, who is thought for stating formidable plans however lacking self-imposed deadlines, has mentioned Tesla will “probably” produce 20 million electrical automobiles a yr earlier than 2030.

Last yr, Tesla produced 509,737 electrical automobiles, with deliveries shy of half one million even amid a world slowdown in auto gross sales attributable to the Covid pandemic.

Price and battery effectivity

Rawlinson expects the Lucid Air to be the catalyst for a lineup of future all-electric automobiles, together with an SUV beginning manufacturing in early 2023 and extra inexpensive automobiles down the line.

To begin, Lucid plans to promote a high-end model of the Air, the Dream version, for $169,000.

By comparability, Tesla sells its Model S sedan for $79,990 for the base mannequin and $139,990 for the highest-end Plaid+ model, with out including Tesla’s $10,000 premium software program improve.

By 2022, Lucid is predicted to supply a model of the Air starting at $77,400, which might straight compete with a number of Tesla fashions. The pricing excludes federal tax credit price as much as $7,500 that are obtainable to Lucid clients however not Tesla patrons at the moment.

It’s unclear presently simply how low Lucid pricing may go after its first two automobiles are out on the market.

Rawlinson mentioned the firm’s subsequent deliberate automobile platform shall be the base for inexpensive fashions in the $40,000 to $45,000 vary. But he is unsure the firm will ever provide a automobile for round $25,000, which Musk mentioned Tesla intends to do.

“In the longer and the fuller timescale, do we actually make a $25,000 car like Tesla’s planning to do with its Model 2?” Rawlinson mentioned. “My view is, as a company, I think we’re probably seven or eight years away from being able to contemplate something like that. That’s a huge undertaking.”

Rawlinson says Lucid has industry-leading battery know-how for its automobiles. His essential measure is the effectivity of Lucid’s batteries by miles per kilowatt hour pushed.

Lucid’s automobiles are able to greater than 4.5 miles per kWh whereas Tesla’s Model S Long Range is bigger than 4, Lucid says.

EV charging

Instead of constructing its personal automobile charging infrastructure, Lucid has partnered with Volkswagen-owned Electrify America, which expects to have 800 whole charging station websites with about 3,500 chargers by the finish of this yr.

Tesla presently operates greater than 20,000 Superchargers globally, in accordance with its web site.

Lucid, like Tesla, says it should provide clients house charging gadgets.

Self-driving tech

Advertising and gross sales

Tesla has grow to be one among the world’s best-known automotive manufacturers with out the use of conventional promoting. It has as an alternative generated hype and consideration by way of splashy occasions, nontraditional social media engagement, Tesla on-line boards and house owners’ golf equipment, and almost fixed engagement by Musk himself with followers and shareholders. Musk has cultivated a following of about 50 million on Twitter, for instance.

Lucid, in contrast, ran a nationwide tv marketing campaign from Dec. 25 by way of the finish of January for the Air to generate consciousness of the firm and automobile. Rawlinson mentioned such a marketing campaign wasn’t essentially part of Lucid’s plans till the coronavirus pandemic final yr pressured the firm to cancel a number of occasions.

Interior of the Lucid Air present automotive, which is predicted to be produced starting in 2021.


“I thought, well, dammit, we’re going to have to because we couldn’t get the message out,” Rawlinson mentioned. “So, we had a little foray into that, and I think that’s been quite positive. So, I don’t rule that out just because Tesla doesn’t do it.”

Lucid additionally embraces Tesla’s direct-to-consumer gross sales and service fashions as an alternative of promoting by way of conventional franchise dealerships.

Lucid already has six retail areas open in California and Florida. It plans to function 20 retail areas and service facilities in North America by the finish of this yr along with promoting its automobiles on-line. Tesla has about 160 retail areas in the U.S., in accordance with its web site.

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