This is the first of four phases of expansion that will bring the factory to more than 5 million square feet and create thousands of jobs.
Luxury electric vehicle (EV) maker Lucid Motors kicked off construction on the first phase of its $700 million, 590-acre Casa Grande, Arizona, factory site last December. Now, just a year later, Lucid has confirmed in a press release that the initial $300 million phase is complete and that it is preparing to build its Lucid Air sedan at the plant starting in spring 2021. The all-electric Lucid Air, which will be capable of up to 517 miles of range per charge, will compete directly with Tesla’s Model S.
“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 Lucid Motors CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson. “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 facility is “the first greenfield, dedicated electric vehicle factory to be built in North America,” according to the company. President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority Sandra Watson told The Arizona Republic that it will directly employ thousands of Arizonans.
The Newark, California-based startup has said that by 2029, the factory will create approximately 4,800 direct and indirect jobs. Lucid adds that the site will yield an estimated $32 billion revenue impact for Casa Grande and Pinal County over a 20-year timeframe.
The Casa Grande factory, penned the Lucid AMP-1 (Advanced Manufacturing Plant), will begin with a capacity of 30,000 units per year, according to the automaker. However, Lucid plans to reach an ambitious 400,000 unit capacity annually following the completion of its final stage of construction set for 2028.
The startup explained that Casa Grande was chosen as the setting for its factory for a number of reasons including infrastructure, talent, and geographic location. Additionally, it says the site “also offered space for a large footprint and planned expansions, as key areas of the factory were intentionally designed with this in mind. This includes a state-of-the-art, water-based paint shop designed to be future-proof with the necessary footprint and specialized infrastructure so it can be expanded to meet the needs of all future phases of the factory itself.”
Lucid has four total phases mapped out through 2028 and these plans will bring the factory’s current square footage of nearly 1 million to 5.1 million square feet.
The automaker added that, as part of the factory’s commissioning, it has already built “its full beta prototype test fleet” and is beginning to construct “a final series of production-representative versions of Lucid Air.”
“Customer-ordered production cars will start coming off the Arizona line in Spring of 2021, with an initial capacity of up to 30,000 units annually to supply global markets, beginning with North America,” the company confirmed. “These will initially consist of Lucid Air Dream Editions, followed quickly by Grand Touring and Touring models. Lucid Air Pure joins the lineup in early 2022, available from $69,900.”
The next round of expansion at the site is slated for early 2021, which Lucid hopes will pave way for it to begin “Project Gravity” – the building of its first SUV – in 2023.