Tesla Motors Inc is currently the top dog in the EV market but there is a pack of wolves in pursuit and any misstep could see the firm losing its status. CEO Elon Musk understands that Tesla doesn’t have a monopoly on ideas and technology in the EV market; hence, he is making moves to consolidate Tesla’s lead. However, the fact that the firm doesn’t have a monopoly on EV innovation is becoming more obvious in the last couple of months as its rivals become bolder.
Last month we wrote about how Tesla Motors’s unrelenting rival, Atieva has returned to the EV market with radical ideas and a new name. Atieva, now known as Lucid Motors had shown that he could build EVs that are faster than Elon Musk EVs. The startup showcased the power in its cars when it mounted its EV drivetrain on a van to challenge the Model S to a drag race that the van won.
Lucid Motors new EV is an executive jet on wheels
Many people consider Tesla Motors Inc Model S an iPhone on wheels but it seems we haven’t seen the best of EVs yet. Peter Rawlinson, CTO of Lucid Motors says you should imagine what an “executive jet would feel like on four wheels” to get an idea of Lucid Motor’s next car. Fortune‘s Katie Fehrenbacher described her experience touring Lucid Motors’s HQ last week. Lucid Motors has its HQ just a few miles away from Tesla’s Fremont factory.
The folks at Lucid Motors are trying not to jinx their success, so you won’t see pictures of their car until they are ready for an official unveil. However, Katie observes that the car has “an ultra-spacious backseat cabin, unusual new headlight technology inspired by insect eyes, a sweeping glass windshield and roof, and a futuristic front face.” Lucid Motors will unveil its car in the next couple of weeks and the car will hit the roads by 2018.
Lucid Motors has invested in “the miniaturization of power technology” to spread out the battery pack, transmission, motors, and ECU all around the car in order to create massive room in the cabin. Derek Jenkins, VP of design at Lucid Motors observes that the car is comparable in size to an Audi A7 on the outside but it feels like a full-size car on the insides.
Tesla can’t afford to ignore Lucid Motors
An important point that many people might not know is that one of the brains behind Lucid Motors happens to be the one the fathers of Tesla Motors Inc Model S. If you are not overly familiar with Tesla’s history, the name Peter Rawlinson might not ring a bell to you. Peter Rawlinson is a British engineer who was formerly the chief engineer at Tesla in the earliest days of the Model S.
In 2011, Rawlinson was charged with the task of showing off the early production “Alpha” prototypes of the Model S. No one outside Tesla knew the reason for his sudden exit for the firm and neither him nor Tesla is ready to discuss that exit. However, it is safe to assume that Musk hasn’t heard the last from Rawlinson because he had ringside seats to watching the Model S growth and he could adopt elements from Musk’s playbook to ensure that Lucid Motors succeed.