Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson on Tuesday touted what he called the electric car company’s “world-class technology” but acknowledged the challenges of auto production.
Rawlinson, Tesla’s former chief engineering officer, appeared on CNBC the morning after Lucid announced a reverse merger with special-purpose acquisition company Churchill Capital Corp IV to go public. This is the largest PSPC transaction involving an EV company. PSPCs are an alternative to initial public offerings for companies wishing to become publicly traded stocks.
Shares of CCIV fell nearly 48% to $ 30 a share early Tuesday, before recovering some of those losses, giving the merged company a market value of more than $ 50 billion, according to Reuters, the larger than Ford Motor. By comparison, direct competitor Tesla has a market cap of over $ 637 billion.
Ahead of Monday night’s announcement and the decline in inventories that followed, recent trading speculation had pushed CCIV up 470% this year alone. Following the transaction, in the second quarter, Lucid is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LCID.
“I think the valuation is a reflection of our technology,” Rawlinson said, adding that more work needs to be done for Lucid to generate a return on investment. “What we need now is to humbly and diligently execute it and put it into production. This is what is really going to generate value,” he said, acknowledging that making a large-scale electric car is a difficult business.
Deliveries of Lucid’s first car, the all-electric Air, are now scheduled for the second half of this year, a delay from its earlier forecast. Production will take place at a factory built by the company southeast of Phoenix in Casa Grande, Arizona. The Air starts at $ 77,400, not including the federal tax credit for electric vehicles.
According to lucid plans, it will generate $ 2.9 billion in EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, in 2026, according to a presentation to investors. It plans to deliver 251,000 vehicles that year. In addition to the luxury Air, Lucid plans to start producing an SUV in 2023 and possibly “more affordable” vehicles on the road. Batteries made by Lucid’s tech division Atieva are currently in use on the Formula E electric racing circuit.
“I think we have an ambitious but achievable plan. We have shown that we can lead,” Rawlinson said. “If you look at the plant we built today, we did it in record time.”
Rawlinson also spoke about the experiences of executives and managers around him, including those who have taken career breaks at companies such as Tesla and Apple. The investor presentation said former officials from mainstream automakers such as Mazda, Ford and Audi are also on board.
“We have the expertise. We have the delivery experience,” said Rawlinson, who worked on Model S at Tesla. “What is really important now, especially in the next few months, is to put our first product into production. This is the big turning point.”
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