We’ve seen many automakers benchmark and reverse-engineer Tesla vehicles, but rarely the reverse. However, supporting evidence: Tesla tested the Lucid Air!
Lucid and Tesla have a long and tumultuous history
The company was founded by Bernard Tse, a former vice president and board member of Tesla. Back then it was called Atieva and focused on building electric powertrains for other companies.
It then became Lucid Motors and branched out into building its own vehicles, starting with a luxury sedan called the Lucid Air. To achieve this, Lucid hired Peter Rawlinson, vice president of Tesla and chief engineer of the Model S, in 2016.
Rawlinson went on to become the company’s CEO and delivered the Lucid Air last year to excellent reviews. It became the first fully electric vehicle with over 800 km of range.
Poorly digested criticism from Elon Musk
But Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who often welcomes new EVs to market, didn’t seem impressed with the company in his public comments. He tried to diminish Rawlinson’s contribution to the Model S program and claimed thata range of 800 km is not really useful.
Earlier this year, Musk said Tesla could have made an electric car with a 600-mile range a year ago, before Lucid, but that “would have made the product worse,” he said.
While speaking badly of Lucid, Musk seems to have taken the startup as competition when he dropped the price of the Model S in 2020, after Lucid announced the base price of the Air.
A great start for Lucid, no offense to Musk
Now, almost two years later, Lucid is slowly increasing deliveries of its electric sedan, and apparently Tesla is getting curious. A drone flying over Tesla’s Fremont factory yesterday spotted what appears to be a Lucid Air being driven on the automaker’s test track.
Last week, General Motors was spotted testing a Tesla Model S Plaid and a Model 3 at its Michigan facility. However, Tesla has rarely been seen toying with electric vehicles from other manufacturers.
An example from which to draw inspiration for Tesla, where did the Lucid Air test come from?
There are a few technologies that could be interesting for Tesla in the Lucid Air. If it is true that Tesla could have made a Model S with more than 800 km of autonomy, Lucid has achieved impressive efficiency in Air, and the size of its electric powertrain is particularly exceptional.