A would-be Tesla rival that's developing a 1,000-horsepower electric luxury sedan expands, will move into Tesla's neighbourhood

Bryan Logan/Business InsiderA view of the Lucid Air outside of Lucid Motors’ headquarters in Menlo Park, California, February 16, 2017.
  • Lucid Motors, an electric-car startup that’s developing a 1,000-horsepower luxury sedan it says could rival the Tesla Model S and flagship offerings from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, is moving to a bigger headquarters.
  • The company is setting up its new home in Newark, California, not far from Tesla’s factory.
  • The upstart was deep into a Series D round earlier this year.

The electric-car startup Lucid Motors announced on Monday it is doubling the size of its San Francisco Bay Area headquarters. The company, which is developing the 1,000-horsepower Lucid Air, will move its operations from Menlo Park, California, to Newark – one city over from Tesla’s factory in Fremont.

The new digs will allow for a larger design studio and an expanded space for research and development, the company said in a blog post on its website. Lucid Motors has previously touted itself as a challenger to Tesla, but with larger ambitions to take on the mainstays of the full-size luxury sedan segment.

In an exclusive interview with Business Insider earlier this year, Lucid Motors’ Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson talked about a future production-ready Lucid Air that would compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series. The company said in a statement to Business Insider late Monday night that it hopes to start production on the Lucid Air in 2019.

At the time of that interview, Lucid Motors had about 300 employees and was backed by Venrock Capital, the same company that led Apple’s Series A round in 1978. The company said it expects to grow its employee ranks after the move to the new headquarters. The company had a Series D round in the works earlier this year. Months later, Lucid brushed off rumours of a potential sale to Ford, telling Business Insider that the fundraising effort was “going well.”

Lucid Motors has been compared to flashy, boisterous electric-car startups like Faraday Future, a Chinese-backed, Los Angeles-based company that’s in poorer financial shape, and steadily losing top talent – including its COO/CFO Stefan Krause last month – but is also trying to build a 1,000-horsepower electric vehicle.

Rawlinson has not taken kindly to the comparison. He has insisted that Lucid will try to avoid making the same mistakes that have thrown its rivals into turmoil. During his February interview with Business Insider, Rawlinson said of building a new electric car from the ground up: “This team realises the enormity of the task. We’re car guys. This is the team that has done it before. We know how to do this.”

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