Lucid Motors

Discussion in 'Other EVs' started by Domenick, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Lucid Motors is the oldest electric vehicle company you may have never heard of. It was founded in 2007, but went by the name of Atieva until October of 2016 when it teased images of its first production-intent vehicle, the Air.

    That car would go on to set a lap record at Laguna Seca (1:41.6) in September of 2018, but the company's goal to be mass manufacturing copies of the car by that same point in time was less successful.

    The dream is not dead, though. In fact, the company received $1 billion in funding from the Saudi Sovereign Wealth fund (PIF) in late September 2018 and now has its sites set on 2020.

    Most recently, it appointed Peter Rawlinson as its CEO. Previously, he served as the company's CTO and prior to that, the lead engineer on the Tesla Model S.

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  2. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update, Domenick.

    I had dismissed Lucid as just another wannabe, but if they have received an investment of $1 billion, then that should put them a long way toward actually putting a car into production. Assuming, of course, that the company is properly managed, and doesn't waste a lot of that $1 billion investment. (Faraday Future is an example of a company which has wasted astounding amounts of money, with almost nothing to show for it.)

     
  3. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Shame about the weird hump at the rear roofline.
     
  4. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    A day late and dollar short is how I would describe Lucid. Yes, they have a billion dollars. Yes, they are hiring. But they are in a segment that is being targeted by many others, the higher end luxury segment. Tesla sells about about 3000-4000 X and S. Now you have Audi and Porsche and Cadillac and Jaguar and Infinity... all coming into this market. Realistically, even with very high margins, the potential market for the very high end is limited. At $100,000 + (I cannot see it being less than that) there is just so many cars you can sell, especially when you have entrenched competitors. They may think that China is the savior, but that is doubtful, especially given the trade situation that might persist for quite some time. Cannot see them making a big splash, but then I have been known to be wrong.
     
  5. hmp10

    hmp10 New Member

    Lucid seems to be the first EV company that might make it to production that is actually using the compact size advantages of electric drivetrains to rethink interior packaging from the ground up. I have a 2015 Tesla Model S P90D. It's a great car in general, but it has abysmally cramped rear seats for a car of its exterior dimensions. The Jaguar I-Pace is nicely styled, but it, too, has a smallish back seat and has done nothing to break the "3-box" mold that has driven ICE design for decades. Ditto for Audi's and MB's first EV attempts to enter the mainstream. Rather than fundamentally rethinking their exteriors and interiors, they are all striving to make them looks as familiar to buyers as their ICE equivalents.

    I am astonished that seven years after Tesla launched a Model S that tried to look like an ICE vehicle so few new entrants are trying to break that mold. In 2012, such a design choice made sense, as hopes to bring EVs into the mainstream hinged in part on making the cars look and feel familiar to the public. But electric propulsion has now established itself as a viable and even desirable alternative to ICE propulsion in the minds of many. It's time to take the next step and start leveraging the advantages of compact drivetrains to take automotive design in a different direction.

    Lucid is taking that step by putting an interior with larger dimensions and more legroom than an S-class Mercedes or a BMW 7 series into a body the size of an E-class Mercedes.
     
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I magnified the rear quarter image and found the 'hump' are vortex generators on each side. Vortex generators are used to keep the air flow attached and reduce drag.

    About the rear seats, the challenge is to recover the kinetic energy from the air steam in the last half of the body:
    • tear drop shape - used in aviation, the body taper lets the air stream slow down without disconnecting from the body. But this taper leads to a lot of unusable space (or cramped seats.) In theory, a foot-gap, in the skate board batteries with an undersea or rear hump might make rear seats a little lower but with leg room.
    • vortex generators - also used in aviation and some cars, this creates twisting vortexes that can 'stick' to a steeper, rear taper. Again, gaining back some of the energy in the rear slipstream. I tuff tested this with my 2003 Prius and though they eliminated the reverse flow at the rear glass, I could not detect enough drop in drag to make the 3d party, generators practical.
    • Kammback - another trick that induces a trailing, lateral vortex, to increase energy recovery while avoiding excessive taper at the rear.
    There has been and remains a lot research about how to reduce vehicle drag. But the tradeoff is smaller rear seats or better high-speed efficiency. Google can provide a wealth of source material. BTW, you've given me a clue as to how the roadster might pull a great engineering joke.

    Rather than use a 'cold thruster', the roadster could have a slit forcing high-speed air to the back. I'd forgotten about this technique but it could give the roadster a significant drag reduction and better high-speed performance.

    Bob Wilson
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  7. hmp10

    hmp10 New Member

    Your explanation of airflow management certainly explains the low rear seat height of the Tesla Model S. The issue is more than that, however. The seats are also narrow relative to the width of the car. Perhaps the bulging rear quarters that make the doors so thick are also part of the aerodynamics?

    I have placed a deposit on both a Lucid Air and a Rivian R1S -- two very different vehicles for different purposes. The Rivian is very boxy with an almost horizontal roof line. No aero drag figures have been released yet, but it will be interesting to see if their real-world range claims for a given battery pack hold up any better than Tesla's. (Tesla's range claims are based on driving at 65 mph steady speed on a flat road with no accessories running. I sometimes drive my Tesla across Alligator Alley in the Everglades -- a stretch of I-75 that is as flat, straight, and uncongested as any road you can find. If I set the cruise control to 75 mph with the A/C and stereo running and use road markers for calibration, I consume about 10 miles of indicated range for every 6 miles of actual road travel.)

    Whether I buy the Lucid or the Rivian will probably come down to whether Lucid gets into production by end of 2020/early 2021. Rivian is well underway in refitting the Mitsubishi factory they bought. I keep watching Google news for stories about progress on the Lucid factory in Casa Grande. The last thing I have found are stories saying the land deal was finalized and they were going to break ground in the second quarter of this year. So far I have been unable to find any confirmation of whether they did.
     
  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    All true. The question is whether or not Lucid can make an EV compelling enough to compete primarily with gasmobiles in that price segment, rather than other plug-in EVs in that segment. If they can "steal" most of their sales from gasmobile models, then there is a pretty good potential for being a successful and profitable company.

    I expect the majority of the passenger vehicle market in first-world countries to transition from gasmobiles to plug-in EVs over the next 10-15 years. That's an awful lot of growth potential for new EV makers! And it's very unlikely that Tesla will be the only successful new auto maker to grab a sizable market share during the market disruption of the EV revolution.

     
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    There are FUD about 'cannibalism' of Tesla or other EV sales but it ignores the effect on the used EV market. If an EV owner replaces their existing EV with a new EV from another brand, the used car market gains another affordable EV:
    • Often early generation, their limitations are well known.
    • Available at affordable entry prices.
    • Often not worn out but sold as trade-in for newer EVs with more capabilities
    Today's used EV buyer becomes in a couple of years, experienced, new EV customer.

    Bob Wilson
     
  10. hmp10

    hmp10 New Member

    So true. Tesla lease rates used to be exorbitantly high, as lessors had to hedge against an unknown residual value once the cars entered the used market. As it turns out, Tesla resale prices have been quite high and competitive with ICE levels, indicating high interest among used car buyers.

    Tesla has introduced numerous changes to the Model S since I bought my P90D in 2015 -- greater range, new motor designs, greatly expanded sensor arrays, improved computers. Sometimes I consider trading for a newer Tesla while I wait for the Rivian or Lucid I'm going to try out in a couple of years when they hit the market. But then I pause and remember just how damned good a car my four-year-old Model S really is. It accelerates noticeably quicker than the Audi R8 V10 I replaced with it. With its ethereally quick traction control cycle time, it launches on wet pavement like a scalded cat. It almost matches the Audi in handling, due to the incredibly low center of gravity. The body has remained as tight and solid as a vault.

    Whoever eventually buys it as a six-year-old car is still going to get a car that will beat the pants off many of the newest cars that will be on the market at that time . . . and they are as likely to develop the same addiction for electric propulsion that I have.

    I used to subscribe to every car magazine on the market and pore over every new car review I could find. These days I have lost all interest in ICE cars except as utilitarian vehicles. (I have a 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan that is great as a people and cargo hauler, something EVs haven't yet matched.) When the car reviewers begin to bore down on valve design, combustion ratios, exhaust systems, transmission gearing, they just start to feel so primitive.

    Some months ago I went to the local Jaguar dealership to ask when they were going to get an I-Pace in for test driving. While I was there I wandered into the attached Aston Martin showroom. As I was looking at a car that was on "special" for $249,000 the salesman came over and started regaling me about it's 3.9 second 0-60 time, its horsepower, and its handling prowess. I just shook my head and walked away.
     
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  11. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Lucid Motors has just announced that Peter Hochholdinger, Tesla's Vice President of Production, joins their company as Vice President of Manufacturing.

    Would seem to indicate that things are moving forward, if nothing else.
     

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