Meet the newest luxury electric brand, Lucid Motors

The original electric disrupter being challenged by a new upstart. It’s a tale as old as time. Or, well, it’s a tale as old as Tesla.

Polestar took on the challenge and won, with the Polestar 2 posing a viable – and very good – alternative to the Tesla Model 3. And now Lucid Motors have entered the electric ring, bringing with it the Lucid Air – a rival to the Model S.

But Lucid doesn’t see itself as a big Tesla rival. Its sights are set on the top of the luxury tree, with Lucid positioning the Air as an environmentally friendly alternative to the three big German limos – the Audi A8, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the BMW 7 Series.

And with former Tesla VP and the so-called ‘father’ of the Model S Peter Rawlinson at the helm, Lucid have got big dreams to conquer the electric world.

But does the first vehicle launched by Lucid match up to expectations?

Lucid Air front view

The history of Lucid Motors

Though it might be the new kid on the EV block, Lucid isn’t a new brand.

It’s been around in one form or another since 2007 when the company was founded under the name Atieva. For years Atieva’s focus was on electric vehicle batteries, and the brand was best known for supplying those batteries to Formula E race cars.

The company rebranded as Lucid Motors in October 2016, and announced its intention to develop an electric, high-performance luxury car. The entry-level model, the Lucid Air Pure, was unveiled at the same time, while the full line-up includes the Lucid Air Touring, Grand Touring, and Dream Edition models.

December 2019 saw Lucid break ground on its first factory in Casa Grande, Arizona – the first greenfield facility for electric vehicle manufacturing in the US. And while capacity is currently only between 10,000 and 20,000 cars a year, the ambitious Lucid eventually intends to increase capacity to around 400,000 cars a year.

Lucid Air side view

And like many of the other innovative brands pushing the automotive world forward, Lucid is making sure that it's ready to tackle the challenges of the EV world.

Technology is at the forefront of every manufacturer, but unlike a lot of the stalwarts, Lucid is convinced that its ability to adapt quickly to new changes will draw consumers away from the traditional combustion engine vehicles, and into a forward-thinking EV.

Though the Lucid Air is currently the only vehicle available to order, the company has already announced that it will be launching an electric SUV, named the Lucid Gravity, and eventually plan to be the first electric manufacturer to produce an EV that costs less than $25,000 – a welcome addition to what can be an expensive landscape.

Lucid Air interior

Everything you need to know about the Lucid Air

With its sleek nose, hidden headlights, and panoramic glass roof, the futuristic Lucid Air is a luxurious place to while away the hours. Lucid have done a fantastic job of making sure that it emulates, but doesn’t mimic, the vehicles it has clearly drawn inspiration from.

The brief for the Lucid Air boiled down to one key thing: power and performance packed into an electric vehicle with S-Class-esque interior space and an exterior smaller than the Model S.

Okay, that might technically be more than one thing.

But it is a triumph.

The interior, though minimalist, is the height of premium luxury, with a digital instrument cluster behind the wheel, large(ish) portrait touchscreen dominating the centre of the dash, and – wait for it – actual buttons to control different aspects of the car, including the climate.

Yes, that’s right. Buttons.

Lucid have bucked the trend of sticking every single control into the infotainment screen and binning off buttons. It’s a welcome change and doesn’t detract from the luxury experience.

Lucid Air side view

Lucid have bucked the trend of sticking every single control into the infotainment screen and binning off buttons. It’s a welcome change and doesn’t detract from the luxury experience.

Where Tesla is cutting edge, Lucid is going after the old-school premium buyer, wanting to entice them away from the old guard by offering a sense of premium familiarity in a car that happens to have a battery.

The stats for the Air are impressive too.

Lucid aren’t just talking the talk – they’re walking the walk.

Best known for its Formula E batteries, it’s no real surprise that the company has developed its own ‘sculpted’ battery pack that sits under the floor and allows for more space inside the cabin.

And it’s this battery that gives the Air a claimed range of between 406 and 516 miles (model dependent), and the ability to regain 300 miles of range in under 30 minutes. It feels like the future of electric – big range, small charging times.

It’s almost guaranteed to get even the naysayers on board.

Lucid Air rear view

But can I buy a Lucid Air in the UK?

Not yet.

Lucid started shipping the first Air models to customers in the US last October, and have since opened up orders in selected European countries, including Germany and the Middle East.

A right-hand-drive version hasn’t yet been confirmed, but it’s likely that the Lucid Air will be heading our way in the next year.

You can reserve the Air for a cool £770 – but there are no guarantees when you’ll get your mitts on it.

Lucid Air front view

Has the King been dethroned?

There’s no denying Tesla is still EV royalty, with the Model 3 taking the silver medal as the second best-selling car in the UK last year.

But when it comes to electric cars, there's no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. Lucid is shaping up to be an exciting rival to the beloved American brand, offering something different and totally luxurious - but just as innovative. There's no denying that Lucid has lofty ambitions. 

Lofty ambitions that are matched only by the quality of their first vehicle.

It’s a flying start for the brand, and we’ll be watching with interest to see what happens next.

Want to be the first to know when the Lucid Air is available in the UK?

Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.