The Lucid Air: A fresh face with 500 miles to a charge, and horsepower to spare; Rose Law Group Automotive Investment Attorney John Sud weighs in

By Lawrence Ulrich | The New York Times

Legacy automakers, facing years of unkind comparisons with a boom-timey Tesla, have fallen back on a defensive refrain: Just you wait.

The spin is that, once these slumbering Atlases get off the mat, their global heft and know-how will let them flood showrooms with electric vehicles — and narrow the gap with Tesla, which claimed 936,000 sales worldwide in 2021.
Yet it’s two California start-ups that have just begun delivering the past year’s most significant new E.V.s, the Lucid Air and the Rivian R1T pickup. And a comparison test of Lucid’s sedan against the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS — the first all- electric sedan from the company that essentially invented the automobile in the late 19th century — favors a divergent view: A century-plus of experience in building internal-combustion cars doesn’t necessarily mean squat. Not when automobiles are being digitized and revolutionized, and new generations of drivers aren’t always impressed by old names and ways.

As for which company holds the more relevant institutional knowledge, consider Lucid’s founder, Peter Rawlinson: He was the engineering brains behind Tesla’s world-changing Model S.

The record-smashing 520-mile driving range he has coaxed out of the Air is only Exhibit A for his company’s superior in-house tech and all-in electric approach. Mercedes, which intends to sell a lineup of EQ-badged models alongside similarly styled gasoline versions, must serve two sets of customers, while keeping regulators at bay. It must develop a new car business meant to put its old one out of business. That’s a tough nut to loosen for the smartest legacy makers.


Although it is a foregone conclusion that EVs are the future, it is far from certain who the dominant players in the EV market will be in ten years. Nevertheless, there are numerous examples of vehicles embodying new technologies becoming highly sought after in the collector’s market. Many of the EVs that startups and traditional companies are now creating can become future classics.

John Sud, Rose Law Group automotive investment attorney

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February 2022