Why Lucid Motors is gunning for likes of Mercedes in EV world (and not Tesla)

Lucid Motors

  • Lucid Motors says its Air EV sedan can compete with a Mercedes S-Class.
  • Lucid Motors wants to establish itself as a luxury brand in the EV space.

Lucid Motors has emerged in recent times as the EV maker with the maximum potential, perhaps, to bring down the might of Tesla in the e-mobility space. And yet, the company itself may not be gunning for Tesla but has sights set on a more traditional giant that is only now looking at entering the electric space in a big way. In a recent interview to Yahoo Finance, company’s Peter Rawlinson said the goal is to compete with traditional giants in the automotive space like Mercedes-Benz.

Rawlinson, CEO at Lucid Motors, has said that the objective is to offer the same level of luxury that a manufacturer like Mercedes has been known for over the past several decades, and that Lucid Air – the company’s recently launched offering – is at par with the S-Class. “I would say our main competitor is a car company; I highlight Mercedes Benz in terms of the attributes of Lucid Air. We’re going after S-class Mercedes, but it’s a natural comparison, and I accept that comparison with Tesla,” he was quoted as saying, adding that it is important to establish Lucid Motors as a luxury brand.

But what makes Rawlinson confident that a relatively new company like Lucid Motors can challenge the might of manufacturers that have a rich heritage, a strong product lineage and a massive brand recognition around the world? For starters, he thinks these companies are not adapting to the EV world quickly enough. Then there is a thought that the EV products on offer from them aren’t very efficient. “We’re not seeing high levels of efficiency from these other automakers, Tesla’s right up there. Lucid is surpassing Tesla. We’re getting over 4 and a half miles per kilowatt hour. I’m not seeing anything close to that from these traditional automakers,” he said.

It is true that the company’s Air sedan has managed to make EV fans sit up and take note because of a claimed range of at least 406 miles (around 653 kms) and a peak power output of around 1,080 hp. To date, it is the only electric sedan able to achieve a quarter-mile time under 10 seconds. With a top speed of a little more than 320 kmph, the Lucid Air can hit zero to 100 kms in less than 3 seconds. The company also underlines the luxury and space quotient inside the EV to claim that it offers unmatched refinement to those who seek the best of luxury in an EV.

Deliveries of Air sedan will start from spring of 2021 in the US market but the likes of Mercedes are hardly sitting idle either. While the German manufacturer has already launched the EQC in several markets, including India, reports suggest that it is preparing the EQS for the US market in an EV assault that could begin from the pinnacle of what the company has on offer. Mercedes has set massive ambitions of launching six new EVs from 2021 onwards and having 50% of global sales coming in from EVs by 2030.

Many say that the rise in EVs across the world has leveled the playing field between relatively new companies like Tesla and Lucid, and traditional players who are now compelled to recognize the need to adapt. And adapt quickly.

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