Casa Grande’s AMP-1 factory for Lucid Motors welcomed dignitaries and media for its Production Preview week this fall, giving a first look as work on the first 13,000 Lucid Air luxury electric vehicles to be delivered to consumers began.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, state, City, and County officials, investors, and many of the approximately 700 employees of the plant at 317 S. Thornton Road attended its official commissioning ceremony Sept. 28, after it had been building test and prototype models since the end of last year.
Peter Hochholdinger, Lucid vice president of global manufacturing, kicked off the ceremony by applauding the hard work of the workers on the line in the nearly 1-million-square-foot factory, the first to be built from the ground up in the United States.
“The supervisors, managers, manufacturing engineers, industrial engineers, trainers. You name them all — these are the rock stars who make that happen,” he said.
Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson then gave Ducey a very short, quiet drive in an Air Dream Edition from the end of the production line to the stage, while selected attendees got to go for longer test drives in the desert before and after the ceremony.
The governor spoke about several recent alternative-fuel vehicle and battery production advances within the state, and said, “Among all of these successes, Lucid can be thought of as the anchor for Arizona’s rapidly expanding electric vehicle ecosystem.”
Rawlinson announced at the ceremony that consumers had reserved 13,000 Lucid Air vehicles through the company’s website and expanding network of design studios. First to be produced are the limited-edition Lucid Air Dream Edition models, priced at $169,000 after federal incentives are included.
Earlier in September, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range model, designed to maximize battery life over performance, an official range rating of 520 miles on a single charge, more than 100 miles more than its closest non-Lucid competitor. For perspective, Santa Fe, New Mexico is a 516-mile drive away from the AMP-1 factory.
DreamDrive, Lucid’s “ultra-intuitive” advanced driver assistance system featuring LiDAR (high-resolution laser scanner) technology for more accurate imaging, officially debuted in mid-October, offering such assists as autonomous parking and over-the-air software updates.
Rawlinson promised that Lucid’s first cars would reach consumers by the end of October, and on Oct. 30 the company held a California Dream Delivery event for its first 20 customers at its Silicon Valley headquarters.
“This is a big day. We always said until we’ve handed cars to customers, we haven’t achieved a damn thing,” Rawlinson said.
After Lucid delivers all of its planned 520 Dream Edition vehicles, it will move on to lower-priced versions of the Air, with the entry-point $69,500 Lucid Air Pure (including tax incentives) expected to have its turn at the end of next year.
Rawlinson stressed the importance of the Air’s early adopters during the commissioning ceremony, saying, “You are the vanguard of this movement. Through your purchase, we will be able to make more affordable cars and mass-produce them, and really start to help the environment. And I don’t want you to just enjoy your cars. This has been a labor of love, and I want you to love them.”
As production begins on the luxury sedan Air, initial work continues on the expansion that will quadruple the size of AMP-1 in two years, enabling mass production of the Lucid Air and its upcoming Gravity SUV. The factory is projected to have an economic impact of about 15,000 direct and indirect jobs by the end of 2024 and generate up to $100 million in state and local taxes by full buildout in 2030.