Lucid Motors Raising $700 Million to Build Arizona Factory

Lucid Motors is currently engaged in a Series D financing round to fund its electric car-making facility.

Lucid Motors

Lucid Motors aims to take on Tesla with its own electric luxury sedan, called the Lucid Air. But before it can start building cars, however, Lucid still needs to build a factory at its chosen site in Casa Grande, Arizona.

The company is currently running a Series D financing round to help begin to fund that factory, CTO Peter Rawlinson confirmed in a recent interview with financial website The Motley Fool. The goal is to raise $700 million for the factory overall, which Lucid hopes will be ready to churn out electric cars by 2019.

Rawlinson said that "once the funding is secured, then Lucid will break ground in the Grand Canyon State." That means the company will need to raise that money in a hurry in order to meet the production deadline. Going from groundbreaking to car production in less than two years is already a tall order.

Rawlinson told The Motley Fool that construction will take place in three phases, and that only the first phase will need to be completed for Lucid to actually start building cars. Lucid expects the first phase to cost around $240 million, and allow it to produce 8,000 to 10,000 cars per year. Total investment will only reach $700 million when all three phases are completed, sometime around 2022.

Like fellow EV startup Faraday Future, Lucid has ties to Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting and his LeEco tech empire. But while Jia is Faraday's main backer, he appears to be less involved with Lucid. That may actually work to the company's advantage, as the instability of Jia's assets has caused financial problems for Faraday. Still, both companies face big challenges in trying to replicate Tesla's success and build their own factories—something Tesla didn't have to do to start car production.

Lucid unveiled the Air last year, and announced last month that it will have a base price of $60,000. The base model will have a range of 240 miles, 400 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. Lucid also plans to sell all-wheel drive versions with 1,000 hp and a range of up to 400 miles, priced in the six-figure range.