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Rawlinson started his trip through Manhattan on a stroll that took him down the Hudson River to the Financial District. After getting perfect views of One World Trade Center and lower Manhattan, Rawlinson continued his trek through the City that Never Sleeps, highlighting several changes that the Lucid team made to the Air’s design. Everything from pillars that created blind spots to the quality of the instrument panel buttons was broken down by Rawlinson, who has held a high standard for his company’s vehicles ever since they have been introduced prior to their production.
An all-too-common narrative that has been projected among the EV community is that of what company will change the game once again. While Tesla technically introduced the electric vehicle sector to the average car buyer, other companies are coming in to create competition and innovation. Lucid is just one of many, but their approach to the electric car is completely different from its competitors. While many are looking years into the future and how the “big picture” of the automotive industry is inevitably set for a massive change in the coming years, Lucid is focused on the short-term.
Rawlinson’s goal is to begin putting cars on the road as soon as possible, and it begins with ending the narrative that Lucid has accomplished something when it hasn’t yet delivered a car. “We are nothing until we’ve got anything into production,” Rawlinson once said, highlighting his inkling for a vehicle delivery by the end of 2021.
The hands-on approach that Rawlinson has taken is eerily similar to that of his former boss Elon Musk. The two worked together in the early 2010s while the development of the Model S was underway. Small, contested, and stressful car startups are becoming more frequent, and Rawlinson has already done this once before. It takes attention to detail from a crafty automotive veteran to ensure that things go smoothly, and Rawlinson may be the perfect man for the job. While he could be sitting in his ritzy office in California, he is instead taking his company’s first car and navigating it through some of the world’s busiest streets, working on perfecting the Lucid Air months before it begins arriving to customers.
Lucid’s premier Air Dream Edition will begin deliveries later this year. While the company will build 500 Air Dream Edition variants, it has three other configurations that will be available in the coming months. Ultimately, Lucid’s big plan is relatable to Tesla’s Master Plan: build an expensive luxury vehicle, and use the funds from that to develop new, affordable, all-electric powertrains in the coming years.
Watch Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson take the Lucid Air through the streets of Manhattan below.