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Tesla-Rivaling Lucid Air Will Make Its TV Debut During Elon Musk’s SNL Episode

The Drive logo The Drive 5/8/2021 By Kristin V. Shaw, The Drive
a close up of a helmet © Provided by The Drive

Tesla competitor Lucid Motors has not yet delivered a vehicle, but it has sent up some shade to Elon Musk yesterday. The mercurial billionaire is set to host Saturday Night Live tonight, and Team Lucid decided to troll Musk with a tweet teasing an ad that will air during the show.

Using the hashtag #FirstTo500, Lucid is referring to its race to the market with a vehicle capable of a 500-mile range. Lucid Air is slated to be priced at $77,400 (the top-of-the-line Dream edition will start at $169,000), and Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson claims it will be the quickest, most aerodynamic, fastest, and longest-range EV available.

a car parked in a parking lot © Lucid Motors

Interestingly, Rawlinson happened to be the chief engineer at Tesla between 2009 and 2012, working side by side with Musk. Rawlinson told InsideEVs reporter Tom Moloughney that Musk recruited him to salvage the plans for the Model S.

Research

"Elon reached out to me and said, 'Look, I've got a bloody disaster on my hands; will you come and join us?'" Rawlinson reportedly told Moloughney. "After the first few days at Tesla, I went to see Elon at Space-X on a Friday and he asked me: 'What do you think?' I said 'Elon, it's a disaster. You're going to have to start again.' He asked 'Everything?' I said 'Yes, look, I know how to do this, let me design Model S from scratch.' He actually trusted me and empowered me to do it and we did do it."'

On May 3, Musk responded to a tweet about Rawlinson, stating that he was never the chief engineer for Tesla. That's counter to what the Wayback Machine shows as well as Rawlinson's LinkedIn page

"He arrived after Model S prototype was made, left before things got tough & was only ever responsible for body engineering, not powertrain, battery, software, production or design," Musk tweeted.

Shots fired. And this ad during Saturday Night Live might be Rawlinson's small measure of revenge.

Earlier this year, Churchill Capital IV and Lucid combined with a transaction equity value of $11.75 billion; now Lucid's deep pockets are lined by CCIV, which ended trading at $19.28 on Friday. Musk already has a huge head start and fan base, however, and Tesla closed at $672.37. For now, Musk is laughing all the way to the bank.  

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