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Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson on the SPAC deal and the creation of Lucid Air

On Tuesday, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson highlighted what he called the electric car company “world-class technology” but acknowledged the challenges surrounding car production.

Rawlinson, a former Tesla CEO, appeared on CNBC this morning after Lucid announced a reverse merger with special acquisition company Churchill Capital Corp IV to make it public. This is the largest SPAC transaction involving an EV company. SPACs are an alternative to the initial public offerings for companies that want to become publicly traded shares.

Shares of CCIV sank nearly 48 percent to $ 30 a share at the start of trading on Tuesday before recovering some of those losses, giving the merged company a market value of more than $ 50 billion, according to Reuters, higher than Ford Engine. By comparison, Tesla̵

7;s direct competitor has a market capitalization of more than $ 637 billion.

Ahead of Monday night’s announcement and subsequent stock declines, recent speculation has boosted the CCIV by 470% this year alone. Following the deal seen in the second quarter, Lucid is expected to be listed 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 to allow Lucid to generate a return on investors. “What we need now is to humbly and diligently implement and put this into production. This is what will really bring value,” he stressed, acknowledging that mass production of an electric car is a difficult undertaking.

Deliveries of Lucid’s first car, the all-electric Air, are already set for the second half of this year, a delay from its earlier forecast. Production will take place at a plant built by the company in southeastern Phoenix in Casa Grande, Arizona. Air starts at $ 77,400, not including the federal EV tax credit.

Conscious projects will earn $ 2.9 billion in EBITDA or profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2026, according to the investor’s presentation. It plans to deliver 251,000 vehicles this year. In addition to the luxury Air, Lucid plans to start producing SUVs in 2023 and eventually “more affordable” vehicles on the road. Currently, the batteries produced by Lucid’s technology division, Atieva, are used in the Formula E racing circuit.

“I think we have an ambitious but nevertheless accomplished plan. We have shown that we can do it,” Rawlinson said. “If you look at the factory we built today, we did it in record time.”

Rawlinson also spoke about the experience of executives and managers around him, including those with past careers at companies such as Tesla and Apple. The investor presentation said former employees of traditional carmakers such as Mazda, Ford and Audi were also on board.

“We have expertise. We have delivery records,” said Rawlinson, who worked on the Model S while at Tesla. “What’s really important now, especially in the next few months, is to put our first product into production. It’s a great litmus test.”

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