Tesla is about to get a run for its money. Lucid Motors is releasing the first 520 of its long-awaited Lucid Air electric vehicles on Saturday, and it has the stamp of approval from both critics and customers. The limited-edition Dream model, which starts at $169,000, is already sold out, and it's said to set a standard for the evolving EV industry.
It makes sense that the vehicle could challenge Tesla: Lucid's leader, Peter Rawlinson, is a former Tesla engineer who worked on the company's Model S. Another Lucid engineer, Eric Bach, is also a Tesla alum. "I'm truly excited to hand the keys to our first dear customers and accompany them on an inaugural drive through the iconic California countryside," Rawlinson said.
The Lucid Air Dream edition, an electric sedan, outpaces the Tesla EVs in terms of range. The vehicle tacks on 100 more miles than the Model S Long Range Plus, Tesla's longest-range vehicle. Lots of the car's other features, from charging rates to acceleration, appear to directly rival Tesla.
Early reviews of the Air have been overwhelmingly positive. Some touted the looks of the vehicle itself: Simple but in a futuristic way, with a luxury feel on the inside. Others put their trust in the carmakers themselves, who come from companies like Ford and General Motors, saying the general assembly is solid and its battery is particularly powerful. "The Air strikes me as an instant classic," The Wall Street Journal said.
Tesla was overdue for a challenger as the EV industry ramps up. Lucid Motors has talked a big game for a long time, but appears to have delivered in more ways than one.