REAL Tesla Competition: Lucid and Polestar
As early adopters of the Tesla sales pitch, we continue to be happy owners of its electric cars--a Model 3 (2017) and Model S (2013). We only wish we would have held its stock after purchasing at $50/share (pre-split) in 2013. Hindsight is 20/20.
That said, after reading about Chinese electric manufacturers Nio, Li, and Kandi, and watching American electric and hybrid autos unsuccessfully try and take meaningful market share away from Tesla, we thought that day was far from near. Then, we read about Volvo's upstart Polestar brand and Lucid, a company started by former Tesla execs. Both of these could eventually give Tesla a run for its money.
Polestar's 2 is powered by dual electric motors and accelerates 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds. Range is a healthy 275 miles and the vehicle seats 5. We prefer hatchbacks to trunks and Polestar's 5th door hatch makes for convenient loading and unloading. Cost is $60K(US) prior to the $7500 federal rebate. Orders placed now can be delivered in January 2021, so these are not some future pipe dream. We think Volvo's engineering and reputation for safety combined with the cars' stylish look and competitive pricing will make electric vehicle buyers take notice, especially when they start seeing them on the freeways in a few short months.
Lucid Motors is not quite as far along as Polestar and the price tag will be much higher, however the look and specs of Lucid's models are very exciting. Whereas Polestar's cars will make people ask, "Hmmm, what car is that?", Lucid reactions will likely be more, "Whoa, I want one!" Former Tesla executives have brought their knowledge and expertise to this nascent firm and are upping the ante on EV luxury/performance. The first of its "Air" models will be released in Spring 2021. The Lucid Air Dream will be a limited production model with a 1080hp, dual-motor, drive train with a 465-mile range and acceleration that propels the vehicle and its lucky passengers 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds! No word on whether neck braces will be attached to the seats. Since the cost on this first production limited model will be north of $150K, we suggest waiting a few more months for the Lucid Air Grand Touring model. With a greater range of 517 miles and a lower price tag of $139K, we think the sacrifice of 200HP (down to 800HP) is worth the tradeoff. Additional models are also planned to be released thereafter--Air Touring and Air--with descending prices and performance levels, but similar attractive lines and shapes.
By Summer 2021, Tesla's primary focus will be on mass production of the Model 3 and its affordable SUV, the Model Y. But look for Lucid and Polestar to take market share away from Tesla's Model S and X.