Atieva Changes Identity to Lucid Motors; Partial Images of 2018 Autonomous EV Revealed

Three days ago we featured a grainy image of startup Atieva’s battery electric car, and yesterday the company said it’s renamed itself Lucid Motors while releasing further teaser photos of its new autonomous electric sedan due in a couple years.

No reason was given for the name change, but Lucid does suggest a strong emphasis on AI (artificial intelligence), confirmed by the array of high-tech features previewed yesterday at a “soft launch” at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

The limited media gathering where photos were prohibited revealed the new car would debut with automated driving systems, natural voice interactions, and intuitive user interfaces.

Plans are for its arrival in 2018, and featured is an infotainment system with four OLED screens and natural language voice command. Touted also is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a built-in data connection the company can use to send out over-the-air software updates.

Level 5 autonomy – which means full self-driving capability – is being built into the car, but it’s unknown if laws will allow it to operate when it reaches production.

Image previously revealed.

Image previously revealed.

The new vehicle will have two electric motors, one on each axle, with total horsepower of around 900 — enough to smoke Tesla’s latest Model S P100D?

SEE ALSO: China’s LeEco Autonomous Car US Debut Didn’t Come Off as Planned

Formed in 2007, Atieva initially developed batteries and electric drivetrains, filing more than 100 patents and delivering battery packs for electric buses in China.

Lucid Motors said that its patented lithium-ion battery has a 20 percent greater energy density than competitors, due to its cooling and power control technologies.

The 87 kilowatt-hour battery gives the car a driving range of 300-miles, with a 400-mile option also being considered.

Battery charge time was not revealed, but it will accept DC fast charging.

Typical of a four-door sedan, styling is characterized by short and rear overhangs that are highlighted with angular surfaces.

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The photos preview a selection of the EV’s styling characteristics including a glass roof, white and aluminum seats and a fully digital gauge cluster.

Lucid Motors is searching for an assembly plant location which will require additional funding of around $300 million.

It’s expected the company will apply for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program that can cover 80 percent of the cost of building a factory, although this is given as a reimbursement rather than an up-front loan.

Atieva