Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson on Tuesday touted what he called the electric car company’s “world-class technology” but acknowledged the challenges surrounding car production.
Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineering executive, appeared on CNBC the morning after Lucid announced a reverse merger with special-purpose acquisition company Churchill Capital Corp IV to go public. It is SPAC’s largest transaction involving an electric vehicle company. SPACs are an alternative to initial public offerings for companies that want to become publicly traded stocks.
CCIV shares plunged nearly 48% to $ 30 a share in early trading Tuesday, before recouping some of those losses, giving the merged company a market value of more than $ 50 billion. according to Reuters, bigger than Ford Motor. By comparison, direct competitor Tesla has a market capitalization of more than $ 637 billion.
Before Monday night’s announcement and the subsequent slide in stocks, recent deal speculation had sent the CCIV up 470% this year alone. Upon completion of the deal, seen in the second quarter, Lucid is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker 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 returns for investors. “What we need now is to execute with humility and diligence and put this into production. That is what will really drive the value,” he emphasized, acknowledging that making an electric car on a large scale is a difficult task.
Deliveries of Lucid’s first car, the all-electric Air, are scheduled for the second half of this year, a delay from its previous forecast. Production will occur at a plant the company built in southeast Phoenix in Casa Grande, Arizona. The Air starts at $ 77,400, not including the federal EV tax credit.
Lucid projects it will earn $ 2.9 billion in EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, in 2026, according to an investor presentation. It plans to deliver 251,000 vehicles that year. In addition to the luxurious Air, Lucid plans to start producing an SUV in 2023 and eventually “more affordable” vehicles in the future. Batteries manufactured by Lucid’s technology division, Atieva, are currently used on the Formula E electric racing circuit.
“I think we have an ambitious but achievable plan. We have shown that we can be executives,” Rawlinson said. “If you look at the factory we built today, we did it in record time.”
Rawlinson also spoke about the experience of the executives and managers around him, including those with earlier career stops at companies like Tesla and Apple. The investor presentation said former officials from traditional automakers like Mazda, Ford and Audi are also on board.
“We have the experience. We have the track record in delivery,” said Rawlinson, who worked on the Model S while at Tesla. “However, what is really important now, especially in the coming months, is to put our first product into production. That is the great litmus.”