After Tesla established itself as the leader in electric vehicle manufacturing, it became common for the biggest names in the automotive industry to claim that they are coming up with a car that would knock the Elon Musk-headed company off its prolific pedestal. However, self-deemed “Tesla Killers” have consistently fallen short, lacking battery technology, performance, or both, in a quest to compete with the “who’s who” of EV production.
Lucid Motors’ “Air,” a vehicle that claims a 400-mile range and exceptional 1,000+ horsepower setup with a 235 mph top speed, is one of these vehicles. However, it’s not the manufacturer claiming that their car can beat Tesla and “kill” the company’s momentum. In fact, Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla executive, is spreading encouragement to his past employer.
“The world’s big enough that we can both thrive and prosper alongside each other,” Rawlinson said in an interview with Ars Technica. He also explicitly stated that being a “Tesla Killer” is not appropriate for Lucid or its goals.
“Please don’t describe us as a Tesla Killer,” Rawlinson remarked.
Competition is what makes most industries flourish. A constant need to prove one product is better than another is what pushes technological advancements, especially in the automotive sector. While a necessity, cars are supposed to be fun. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have all the bells and whistles and features that consumers love. Tesla, for example, has Fart Mode. While fun and humorous, does anyone need it? Absolutely not, but it’s something that’s just fun to have.
Tesla continues to dominate electric vehicle sales in nearly every country across the world because of its technology and performance. The company’s vehicles offer more range than any other EV on the market, and the company’s release of a million-mile battery is getting closer. The speed and acceleration that come with the impressive battery range are also a significant selling point for some of those who require a little bit of an adrenaline rush when pushing the accelerator.
Rawlinson accepts all of these points and agrees that Tesla is at the head of the pack.
“It’s a justifiable comparison in one respect, because I think that Tesla is undeniably the leader in electric powertrain technology today,” he told Jonathan Gitlin of Ars Technica. “The most important thing here is efficiency, and we’re chasing down four miles per kilowatt-hour for our car.”
Lucid is aiming to build a quality product, and they’re taking their time doing it. While the Air was unveiled in 2017, it was more influenced by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class than the Tesla Model S. The car will be built at the company’s plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, which is still under construction but is near completion.
Lucid has also opened up its market to the Middle East, aiming to spread its tech to the countries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Elon Musk once said that no electric vehicle is a Tesla competitor, because each electric car accelerates the transition to sustainable energy. The real enemy is the internal combustion engine manufacturers who continue to harm the environment.
It seems Musk’s old colleague has joined this mentality.