Autos

Lucid Motors Joins the Gang Taking Aim at Tesla

Electric vehicle (EV) startup Lucid Motors officially unveiled its Lucid Air EV on Wednesday and began taking orders for three of its planned four models. For a refundable deposit of $1,000, customers can reserve a Lucid Air, Lucid Air Touring or Lucid Air Grand Touring. A refundable deposit of $7,500 nabs a reservation for the limited edition Lucid Air Dream Edition.

Last month, Porsche introduced new features for some Taycan Turbo models, including a higher top speed and faster charging. Porsche is one of nine companies offering 12 models competing with Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) in the U.S. market for EVs. Four additional models are expected by the end of this year from three other carmakers.

With the deck stacked 12-to-1 against Tesla, how will the current leader in EVs stand up to the challenge? Especially with another six EV makers, including Lucid, scheduled to introduce new models in 2021?

It’s getting to be a crowded playing field, and Tesla is every other automakers’ target. How can the company withstand the onslaught?

Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster, an unabashed Tesla bull, has a couple of answers. First, he notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the introduction of new models (including Lucid) until next year. In Munster’s view, that means that Tesla is likely to have a grip on 70% to 80% of the U.S. EV market by the end of 2021.

Tesla is the only EV maker that has a full line of vehicles in 2020 and still will be by the end of next year. The addition of the Cybertruck in 2021 also works in Tesla’s favor.

Second, according to Munster, the coronavirus pandemic has shifted purchases for all sorts of goods to online buying. Tesla is the undisputed champion at selling vehicles online. This advantage is particularly strong compared to traditional carmakers that have to comply with state laws that require buyers to get quotes or schedule test drives with local dealerships or prohibit online sales altogether.

The following data comes from Loup Ventures. Five of the models due out next year were delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic.

Available Model Starting Price Range (miles)
2020 Hyundai Ioniq $33,045 170
2020 Chevrolet Bolt $36,620 259
2020 Hyundai Kona $37,190 258
2020 Tesla Model 3 SR+ $37,990 250
2020 Nissan Leaf S Plus $38,200 226
2020 Kia Niro EV EX $39,090 239
2020 BMW i3 $44,450 153
2020 Tesla Model 3 LR $46,990 322
2020 Tesla Model Y LR $49,990 316
2020 Jaguar I-Pace $69,850 234
2020 Audi E-tron $74,800 204
2020 Tesla Model S LR $74,990 402
2020 Audi E-tron Sportback $77,400 218
2020 Tesla Model X LR $79,990 351
2020 Volvo Polestar 2 $59,990 275
2020 Porsche Taycan 4S $103,800 192
2020 (to come) Ford Mustang Mach-E $50,000 300
2020 (to come) VW ID.4 n/a 280
2020 (to come) Kandi K27 $17,499 100
2020 (to come) Kandi K23 $27,499 188
2021 Mini Cooper Mini EV $29,900 110
2021 Hyundai Ioniq 5 n/a n/a
2021 Nissan Ariya $40,000 300
2021 Audi Q4 E-tron $45,000 280
2021 BMW iNEXT n/a ~380
2021 Ford F-150 electric n/a n/a
2021 Tesla Cybertruck Dual $49,900 300
2021 GMC Hummer EV n/a n/a
2021 Lordstown Endurance truck $52,500 250+
2021 Mercedes-Benz EQC $67,900 200+
2021 Rivian R1T $69,000 340
2021 Tesla Cybertruck Tri $69,900 500
2021 Rivian R1S $72,500 400
2021 Mercedes-Benz EQV ~$75,000 200-225
2021 Mercedes-Benz EQA n/a ~200
2021 BMW i4 n/a 270
2021 Mercedes-Benz EQS n/a 390
2021 Lucid Air $100,000+ 517