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2017-07-26

Lucid looking for savior, perhaps, after Ford declines to buy company




The image of the electric car as the future of passenger vehicles has led to a wealth of start-up companies hoping to cash in on the newest type of automotive propulsion.
Starting a company—an automobile company at that—is not an easy task, however. Now Lucid Motors (nee Atieva) may be on the brink of discovering that.
A new report suggests that Lucid recently approached Ford Motor Company to discuss a total sale of the electric-car company to the huge Detroit maker.
According to Bloomberg, Ford and Lucid did discuss the possibility of a buyout, but ultimately, Ford passed.
Ford is currently in the midst of a 100-day review of the automaker's plans and priorities after former CEO Mark Fields was ousted from his position earlier this year.
The automaker's board installed Jim Hackett as the new CEO; HE previously ran Ford's self-driving car operations for a short period.
Per the report, Ford passed on a deal for the moment, although it may be open to an acquisition in the future following the 100-day internal review.
In the meantime, Lucid will continue its fourth round of fundraising to fund its planned electric-car manufacturing plant in Arizona.
The company says the Arizona-based facility will cost $700 million when fully built out, and it will remain fiscally disciplined until the capital is secured for the plant.
“It would be irresponsible to start moving earth, or start anything, until we have a financial runway to execute that professionally and with absolute integrity,” said Lucid chief technical officer Peter Rawlinson.
For perspective, Lucid has raised slightly more than $100 million throughout its first three rounds of financing.
The company is hoping to put its first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, into production in 2019. It would carry a $60,000 starting price.
A base Lucid Air will provide the capability for 240 miles of range and carry a power rating of 400 horsepower.
However, a more powerful—and expensive—Lucid Air is said to feature 1,000 horsepower and a range of 400 miles.
Although Lucid doesn't face the dire circumstances of rival start-up Faraday Future, the fact that it's begun shopping the company around underscores a key industry tenet: building cars is really, really, really expensive.
Whether Lucid will achieve its production aspirations, and whether that might occur through new fundraising or by the company selling itself, remains to be determined.