To put a Lucid Air on the road next year, the EV startup needs money – now

Lucid Air Rear Angle
Lucid Air

Lucid Motors has been getting a lot of buzz lately.

After the debut of its Lucid Air electric vehicle, which will start at $60,000 and have a minimum range of 240 miles per charge, the startup made headlines based on some incredible top speed tests.

First, a Lucid Air prototype hit 217 mph at the Transportation Research Center test track in Ohio. Not satisfied, Lucid returned this month and achieved 235 mph in a modified version of its Alpha prototype. This demonstration showed Lucid could compete with Tesla both in terms of efficiency and performance.

Alas, the latest news about Lucid isn’t as rosy. Bloomberg is reporting that Lucid is still seeking funding ahead of its production schedule next year. The EV automaker plans to build its Air models at an Arizona-based manufacturing facility.

In addition to its quest for funding, Lucid is considering a buyout. Recently, the startup approached Ford, which is in the midst of a leadership transition. A takeover from the Blue Oval would make sense – the company is actively pursuing EV production, but it has not introduced a model to adequately compete against the Tesla Model S or Chevrolet Bolt EV.

However, in part because Ford’s new CEO, Jim Hackett, is knee-deep in a 100-day review of the company’s operations, Ford has turned down Lucid’s proposal. At this point, Lucid has raised $100 million from Asian investors through three rounds of funding.

“We don’t have the money in place. That’s why we need to secure Series D,” Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson said at the New York International Auto Show in April. “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.”

Though this sounds a bit like the seemingly doomed Faraday Future, Lucid’s leadership seems far more strategic in its moves, and the Air electric vehicle appears much closer to production specification. Still, Lucid is in need of funds to keep the chains moving – that fact is inescapable.

Those hoping for another supercar-beating EV should cross their fingers and call any investors they might happen to know.