Electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors is planning to go public. It will happen at an $11.75 billion (USD) valuation through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal. The deal is between the California-based Lucid and blank-check company Churchill Capital Corp IV. To date, it’s the largest in a series of such deals involving EV companies. Previous SPAC deals with EV start-ups like Nikola, Fisker, or Lordstown Motors all had valuations of less than $4 billion.
However, Lucid Motors is much farther along than those companies. For starters, they are already well into the production phase of their product. Lucid Motors is set to deliver its first vehicle – a luxury sedan called the Air – this spring. Going public will generate about $4.4 billion in cash for Lucid’s expansion plans, including its manufacturing facility in Arizona.
Lucid is led by ex-Tesla engineering executive and automotive veteran Peter Rawlinson. He joined the company as Chief Technology Officer in 2013 before becoming CEO in April 2019. He will continue in those dual roles following the expected closure of this deal.
Will the Lucid Air Be a Hit?
The Air is the first in a larger lineup of EVs to be produced by Lucid. That lineup also includes an electric SUV that’s scheduled to start production in 2023. Lucid currently employs nearly 2,000 people. They also plan to add another 3,000 employees in the U.S. by the end of 2022.
Lucid plans to produce 20,000 vehicles in 2022. That number is forecast to ride to 251,000 by 2026. With a starting price of $77,400, the Air is expected to be the first EV to achieve a 500-mile (805 km) driving range on a single battery charge. At least, that’s what Lucid is promising. If they deliver on that promise, the Air could seriously compete with more popular Tesla models.