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Below is our recent interview with Peter Rawlinson, CTO at Lucid Motors:
Q: Could you tell us your story and something more about Lucid Motors? How long did it take to put together Lucid Motors?
A: Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 with a focus on battery technology under the name Atieva. By the end of 2013 we were a highly capable producer of battery packs and EV powertrains, yet Lucid had even grander visions. I joined the company at that time in order to help build the best electric cars in the world from the ground up. My colleagues and I felt that if we could break free of traditional automotive technologies, architectures, and development processes, we would be in a unique position to truly innovate. To achieve this, I started building a team of outstanding engineers and designers, many of whom joined me from Tesla where I previously led the development of the Tesla Model S from a clean sheet of paper. I sought out those who forge their own path, build something out of nothing, and have an unwavering sense of who they are. In late 2016, we unveiled our groundbreaking vehicle, the Lucid Air. Since then we have been perfecting the prototypes of the Air and seeking funding to take the vehicle into production. Now that we have secured funding from an ideal partner, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, we will take the Lucid Air into production in 2020 and seek to create a globally recognized luxury electric vehicle brand.
Q: What is your differentiator? What can you do that the competition can’t?
A: Lucid has a quite a few differentiators both as a company and in the products themselves. At Lucid, we have a team of truly world-class individuals, who have vast experience in the automotive and technology industries, and have an appetite to transform the automotive space. Many of them worked with me at Tesla, others were top performers at European and American OEMs, and others are passionate Silicon Valley engineering gurus with the drive to create something new. This combination of experience and ambition make the team at Lucid very unique. The Lucid Air itself is quite revolutionary in that the vehicle truly captures the full potential of the electric powertrain. As a result of engineering and design teams working side by side, we have capitalized on the miniaturization of the electric powertrain and created a vehicle with optimized space for the occupants. Lucid has developed a unique vehicle architecture that allows passengers to enjoy unparalleled amounts of interior space compared with any competing product. Furthermore, the technology throughout the Lucid Air from the headlights to the actual battery cells are state of the art, and we are confident that the customer will really appreciate what this vehicle can do. Finally, while there may be existing EV products in the market that are considered luxury products, Lucid believes that the market is lacking a brand that delivers true luxury. Our brand will deliver this and we believe there is a large global market for our products.
Q: You have recently raised $1B, could you tell us more about it?
A: We are thrilled to have closed this fundraising round and are excited about the prospects for Lucid with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia as our partner. The transaction provides Lucid with the necessary funding to commercially launch our first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air in 2020. We will use the funding to complete engineering development and testing of the Lucid Air, construct our factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, begin the global rollout of our retail strategy starting in North America, and enter production for the Lucid Air.
Q: What is your main goal at the moment?
A: Our primary goal at the moment is to take the Lucid Air into production in 2020. We will be working non-stop over the next two years to make that happen. At a company level, our mission is to inspire the adoption of sustainable energy by creating the most captivating luxury electric vehicles, centered around the human experience. The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized. This is inhibiting the pace at which sustainable mobility and energy are adopted. Lucid will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward. It is an exciting time and I am thrilled to be working on such unique products. I feel as if what I am doing currently is the most impactful work I have done in my career.