Currently reading: Lucid Air electric saloon set for UK sales in around 2025
Lucid CEO says firm has "got to" launch in the UK, but needs 18-24 months for development

American EV firm Lucid is on track to arrive in the UK market in two years, once current development programmes for new models are complete.

Speaking to Autocar at the LA motor show, where the firm revealed its new Gravity SUV, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said "we've got to do right-hand drive, but we need 18 months - at least". 

He pointed to comparatively large demand for premium electric vehicles – such as the Lucid Air – in certain European markets as a key incentive for Lucid, but explained that getting the Gravity into production and developing successive models beyond that is the priority for now. 

"There are two really big markets: Germany and the UK, and they're massively bigger than any other country - for luxury EVs," said Rawlinson. 

"We've got to do right-hand-drive Air. To do that is probably going to take us 18 months, and we are absolutely slammed because I've got all my main engineering team doing all the design and development for Gravity, which is winter testing now in Minnesota."

"And then I've got my advanced team and the studio working on our mid-sized project, which is our Tesla Model Y/Model 3 competitor vehicle set."

The 'mid-sized' Lucid models are due to arrive in around 2027, priced from around $50,000, and development is understood to be well under way. 

"We've bitten off so much right now. It's quite a project to make a right-hand-drive Air; it would take us at least 18 months to do."

Asked whether Lucid could consider offering the Air in the UK in left-hand-drive form, as Tesla now does with the Model S, Rawlinson said it would not be possible because demand would be too low to facilitate a full scale-up in the market. 

"I have seriously thought about that but we looked at the numbers, and thought: how many will we sell - 20? 30? And then there's all the cost, and I don't want to ill-serve customers."

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"If it was a small group of people in London, that would be one thing, but for all over the UK - what if one needs servicing in Manchester? It's just not viable. 

"So realistically, it's two years away. I'd love it to be less. It's at least 18 months - if we started tomorrow, it would be 18 months."

But asked to state categorically if Lucid is coming to the UK, Rawlinson – who was born near Cardiff and has led the engineering departments at both Lotus and Jaguar – said:  "We are. It's a matter of when. I've got to be there - I'm British."

He also added that a UK launch would not be limited to the Air; Lucid would "totally" look to offer the Gravity here as well.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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catnip 20 November 2023

Interesting that he says there are two really big markets for luvury EVs, bigger than anywhere else, and the UK is one of those. The cost of living crisis really doesn't touch a significant number of people here it seems.

Gerhard 18 November 2023

So they forgot to include 73 countries and 2.2 billion people in their original design planning... 

As well as forgetting to benchmark the activities of their largest competitor...

Why do US companies have such 'blinkers' on when it comes to the rest of the world?

Andrew1 19 November 2023
Or maybe they did but they decided to go for the other 6bn first.
KeithS 17 November 2023

If they say two years, that means four years, and that's if they see demand slowing in their existing markets.