More and more, it becomes apparent that in the Future, only the rich will get to drive. The rest of us will be enlisted to finance it for them.
Another “revolutionary” electric car – only $60,000 to start! – was unveiled at the New York Auto Show. It’s called the Lucid Air – and it seems pretty damned stoopid.
Peter Rawlinson, Lucid Motors’ chief technology officer, said the Air represents a leap in EV evolution over the vehicles produced by his former employer Tesla Inc.
“It’s a revolutionary step forward because it’s a car that is more compact on the outside and much more spacious on the inside,” Rawlinson says.
Now that is a revolutionary idea… right up there with the synchronized gearbox and sealed beam headlights. Someone might tell this geek that small-on-the-outside but large-on-the-inside cars have been around since . . . well, a long time. Wiki Nash Metropolitan, Mini Cooper . . . .
“This is the next-generation electric car. This is showing the true potential of electrification. No one’s done that.”
My teeth ache. Again. Every time I go to one of these press conferences. I feel like I’m the only person in the Cuckoo’s Nest who’s not cuckoo.
Or, on crack.
The rent-seekers who confected this crapulence are, of course, ex-Tesla rent-seekers. And, like the economically egregious, functionally preposterous Tesla, the Lucid Air boasts about half the range – best case – of an IC-engined Toyota Corolla but has 400 hp, because having the capability to do 0-60 in about 3 seconds for $60,000 to start (the Air’s estimated base price) is the sort of thing that Uncle thinks working Americans ought to be forced to “help” finance the manufacture and purchase of.
Rawlinson says the car at the show here is an “alpha prototype,” with a “beta prototype” due in a year and production in two years. That, however, depends on Lucid raising more funding for a proposed plant in Casa Grande, Ariz. Although ultimately projected to cost $700 million, the plant is planned in three phases. The first, enabling production of 20,000 vehicles a year, would cost $240 million.
Lucid is working through venture capitalists to raise the money, he says, as it has throughout its existence. Initially a battery maker called Atieva, the company changed its name last year. Rawlinson adds that it is a misconception that Lucid is Chinese-owned; it is owned by an international assortment of investors and is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif.
“Our competitive market is the luxury [segment] worldwide, which is dominated by the Germans and is worth collectively $100 billion a year,” he says. “Let’s be clear, Tesla is only scratching the surface of that.”
And they ask me why I drink . . .