Lucid Motors has announced that it will reveal the production version of its first all-electric luxury sedan, the Air, in an online event on September 9th. The California startup says it will show off the Air’s final exterior and interior designs, and offer new details on the car’s specs, configurations, and pricing.
But customers will now have to wait a little longer to get behind the wheel of their preordered Airs thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to TechCrunch, which reports that the first batch of cars that come off of Lucid Motors’ production line at the end of this year won’t be sold. Instead, the first customer car deliveries have now been pushed back to early 2021.
The Air was slated to be revealed at the 2020 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), which was supposed to take place in April. But like pretty much every other auto show and major event, NYIAS was postponed in March due to the pandemic. Last month, the show’s organizers announced that this year’s NYIAS would be canceled altogether.
Instead, Lucid Motors has spent time dangling bits of information about its progress with the Air as it worked up a plan for its own reveal event. The company published some photos of the factory it’s building in Casa Grande, Arizona in April, and released videos of the Air being put through its winter testing paces as well as making a 400-mile trek between San Francisco and Los Angeles on a single charge.
The Air was first revealed in prototype form all the way back in 2016, so the sedan has been a long time coming. Like many other EV startups, Lucid Motors — which is helmed by former Tesla Model S lead engineer Peter Rawlinson — ran into some money trouble as it tried to bring the Air to production, and took on loans from a hedge fund and a Chinese bus company to stay afloat, as The Verge previously reported.
The company ultimately received a massive $1 billion lifeline from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund just a few weeks before the Kingdom had Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed.
Rawlinson has said that money will get the company into production and that the delays in getting there have given Lucid Motors the chance to make a number of improvements to the technology that powers the Air. The company said Wednesday that it is also now ramping up its hiring.
“As Lucid’s 1,000+ employees return to work in a phased approach based on local and state mandates – with none ever laid off or furloughed – they resume vehicle development work that was only briefly delayed during shelter-in-place,” the startup wrote in a press release. Lucid Motors said it has actually hired 160 employees in the last 90 days, and it plans to add 700 more by the end of the year.