Lucid Air – launched in 2021 – is one of the world's longest-range electric cars
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."
"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.