In late November 2016, California-based company Lucid Motors announced that Casa Grande, Arizona would be home to their newest assembly plant. Looking to compete with Tesla in the electric-vehicle category, this startup company will begin building their new assembly plant in second quarter of 2017, with hopes of producing electric luxury sedans by end of 2018.
Arizona helped secure the deal by promising $46 million in subsidies tied to milestones the company must reach as it moves toward vehicle production. As the company begins building and production, they’ve promised to provide 2,000 jobs over the next five years, with hiring starting as early as next year.
Lucid Motors scouted out 13 other states before landing on Arizona. Through this deal, Governor Doug Ducey believes that “we’ve demonstrated that Arizona is among the most competitive states in the nation to do work and do business.”
This $700 million factory is also committed to training and hiring Arizona’s veterans, and while some of the car parts will be assembled in Sonora, Mexico, they are committed to keeping it a U.S.-based and run company.
For car enthusiasts, the Lucid Motors electric cars are something to get excited about. Having unveiled the new prototype on December 18th, these Tesla-competitors are expected to cost $100,000, include batteries capable of powering the vehicle for at least 400 miles before charging, and an interior similar to the BMW 7-series.
Beyond that, not much is known about the vehicle. When unveiled last Wednesday, the prototypes were notably covered in a camouflage exterior to keep the full design and shape of the vehicles shielded from competitors.
The company intends to limit production to 10,000 units in 2018, with plans of increasing by 60,000 units each year after that.
Will these cars actually become a competitor of Tesla, though? The company recently tested its electric powertrain using a modified Mercedes-Benz van, and released a video showing that it could hit 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds, faster than a “Ludicrous”-equipped Tesla Model S. So you can be the judge of that.
For the city of Casa Grande and its 50,000 residents, as well as for Arizonians as a whole, this plant may seem too good to be true. What happens if Lucid Motors chooses to pull out? While this is far from likely, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) stressed that should the deal not move forward, the state will not have lost any money.
With that risk eliminated, and the ACA expressing that they are “comfortable Lucid Motors currently has sufficient funding for the initial phase of the project,” this plant is something we can all get excited about, both in Casa Grande and statewide.
Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson summarized it best when he said, “For the past five years, Casa Grande has worked diligently to attract companies that could serve as economic drivers for our entire region.” It looks like he’s doing just that!
We will all look forward to seeing how the plant progresses and helps add jobs to our great state!
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