Why Lucid Motors does not see Apple as a competitor

Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson told CNBC in an interview that his electric vehicle startup welcomes potential competition from a company like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).

In an interview on CNBC’s “Mad Money”, Rawlinson suggested there is always room for new entries in the car market as the EV market will eventually overtake the entire car market.

“Ultimately, you know, this is a technology race. Tesla recognizes that and Lucid recognizes that, and I think that’s what differentiates so many of the traditional car companies,” Rawlinson told Jim Cramer, the host of “Mad Money,” when asked about his thoughts on Apple’s potential plan to launch an electric car.

There has been intense speculation over Apple’s potential partners on its self-driving electric vehicle. It was reported last month that Apple could still partner with Hyundai Motor Company (OTC: HYMTF) subsidiary Kia Corp. on electric vehicles.

Rawlinson, who previously led the engineering team that worked on Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3 sedan, also said in the interview that the order book of Lucid Motors is “filling up nicely” and affirmed the company’s plans to start production in the second half of this year.

The company plans to introduce additional factory shifts at its Arizona manufacturing facility next year and further expand in the third quarter of 2023 to ramp production to 85,000 vehicles. The planned expansion will take this factory to production capabilities of 365,000 units annually.

Lucid Motors plans to go public via a SPAC merger with blank-check company Churchill Capital Corp. The Newark, California-based company is on track to deliver its first car, the all-electric Lucid Air luxury sedan, in the second half of this year, while the Gravity SUV is scheduled to be released in 2023.

The EV segment is billed as the future of the automotive industry. In addition to startups, some of the large, established automakers are making fully electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, aiming to keep Tesla at bay and to take a pie out of Tesla’s growing business.