Many companies are targeting Tesla Motors with new electric cars, but Lucid Motors, the California-based startup formerly known as Atieva, may actually hit the bullseye.
The company plans to unveil an “executive sedan” December 14 and, if a new report from Automotive News (subscription required) is any indication, it could be quite the contender. The Lucid sedan will come standard with 1,000 horsepower and a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack offering 300 miles of range, according to the industry trade journal.
That matches the largest available battery pack in the Tesla Model S, and exceeds that car’s maximum power output by a significant margin. With 1,000 hp on tap, the Lucid sedan will reportedly do 0 to 60 mph in under 3.0 seconds. Tesla quotes 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds for the top Model S P100D, along with a 315-mile range.
Keep in mind that these specs reportedly apply only to the base model of the Lucid electric car. The company apparently plans to offer a version with a 130kWh battery pack, affording 400 miles of range. Lucid announced Tuesday that Samsung SDI would supply lithium-ion cells, and that it would use a new cell design with greater energy density and tolerance for repeated fast charging than current cells.
Lucid plans to start production in 2018, and is building a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, for the purpose. The car will reportedly be sold directly to customers, just as Tesla does. But Lucid only plans to sell between 8,000 and 10,000 cars in the first few years, then gradually ramp up to about 60,000 cars per year, according to Automotive News.
The company is backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting and his LeEco tech empire. Jia is also one of the main backers of Faraday Future, which plans to launch a Tesla-fighting electric car around the same time as Lucid, and is also building a factory from scratch. LeEco has been an enthusiastic backer of automotive projects, also partnering with Aston Martin and even designing its own concept car. But recent cash-flow problems could put an end to that.