Anti-EV US Climate Sees Lucid Follow Tesla to Europe

Arizona’s BEV maker Lucid Motors is following Tesla’s lead in looking for sales growth outside of a stagnant US market.

It says it is responding to consumer demand from European buyers by opening its books for reservations on its forthcoming all-electric Lucid Air luxury sports executive car. Lucid doubtless hopes to follow Tesla’s Model 3 success in Europe where it topped its sector’s sales charts when released last year.

The move also comes immediately after President Donald Trump’s attack on climate “prophets of doom” at the environment-focused World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It’s clear to many in the automotive industry that the US, with cheap fossil fuel prices, lack of public EV charging structure and complete absence of political will at the top of its federal executive, will be struggling to keep pace with the speed of adoption of EVs likely in Europe and Asia.

The company says it has brought forward its European expansion, planned initially for late 2021, thanks to unexpected high demand for the vehicle to be built at its Arizona factory. For the equivalent of $1,000, customers in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland will secure their place in line for the Lucid Air. These markets were selected owing to a combination of charging infrastructure and market acceptance and size. Further expansion in Europe is planned in the future, including a right-hand-drive model for the UK.

The company’s first car, the Lucid Air, features a California-inspired design underpinned by race derived technology. It claims a luxurious interior cabin while retaining a mid-size exterior footprint. The company claims the Air will be capable of over 400 miles range and 0-60 mph in under 2.5 seconds and production will begin in late 2020 at the Casa Grande plant.

Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors, said: “This is an exciting time for Lucid. We’ve been moving at an incredible pace, with the completion of our factory and the first production Airs expected in late 2020,” “With deliveries in Europe expected just a year from those milestones, we felt the time was right to open up reservations in a region that has truly embraced the core tenets of environmentally-friendly transportation, and one that we expect will be a major market for Lucid.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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