Electric-vehicle startup Lucid Motors finished construction on its first factory, the company announced last Tuesday.
The facility — named AMP-1, which is short for Advanced Manufacturing Plant — is 999,000 square feet and sits on a 590-acre site in Casa Grande, Arizona.
“We broke ground on the 590-acre Lucid AMP-1 site in Casa Grande, Arizona, on December 2, 2019, and slightly less than a year later we have completed the first purpose-built EV factory in North America,” said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid Motors’ CEO and CTO. “The effort and agility demonstrated by this team is truly astounding, as we’re already commissioning equipment compatible with the Lucid manufacturing system to start production of the next-generation EV, Lucid Air, in just a few months.”
The completion of its first factory brings Lucid one step closer to launching the production version of the Air, a luxury sedan to take on the Tesla Model S. Lucid plans to start building the Dream-Edition model at the plant in the spring of 2021, starting out with custom-ordered cars and an annual output of 30,000 vehicles. It will bring the $77,400 base-model Pure version to market in early 2022.
By 2028, Lucid plans to invest a total of more than $700 million in the plant, expanding it to more than 5 million square feet, and growing its manufacturing capacity to 400,000 vehicles per year. Lucid said the plant will start manufacturing its first SUV — currently code-named Project Gravity — in 2023.
Of all the EV startups that have teased interesting designs or come up with prototype vehicles in recent years, extraordinarily few of them have succeeded at getting a factory up and running. Lucid was largely able to do so thanks to a more than $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in 2019. It calls AMP-1 the first dedicated EV plant in North America — Tesla’s Fremont factory was initially a General Motors facility and Rivian’s plant in Normal, Illinois was formerly owned by Mitsubishi.
Lucid has “already built its full beta prototype test fleet and is now transitioning to the construction of a final series of production-representative versions of Lucid Air,” the automaker said.