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Lucid Motors, which plans to go public by merging with the blank-check company Churchill Capital Corp IV (NYSE: CCIV) is charting a future course that differs significantly from Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), the segment leader, CNBC reported Tuesday.
Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson led the engineering team that worked on Tesla’s Model 3 sedan. Although the two companies are on a similar course when it comes to production, and some other aspects such as dealerships and service, there are key differences:
EV Charging: The two firms differ significantly on the approach they have taken to EV charging. While the Elon Musk-led Tesla has built its own network of Superchargers, Lucid has no plans to replicate such a feat.
“Do we want to have the capital burden of a fast charging network? No, we can go asset light in that. That’s where we can save money,” said Rawlinson.
Instead, Lucid has partnered with Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY)-owned Electrify America on charging.
Lidar and Self Driving: Musk and Rawlinson also differ on the use of lidar technology when it comes to self-driving vehicles.
“Do we think that lidar should be part of the sensor suite for (autonomous vehicles)? Yes, we do,” said Rawlinson.
Musk on the other hand said that even if the cost of lidar sensors became zero, Tesla would not use them.
Tesla offers a Full-Self-Driving software priced at $10,000 — without a driver monitoring system. Lucid plans to include such a system, according to CNBC.
Ads And Sales: Tesla does not use traditional advertising but instead relies on events and social media engagement, reported CNBC. Musk’s own Twitter account has nearly 50 million followers. Lucid on the other hand ran a television campaign from Dec. 25 through the end of January for its Air sedan.
Rawlinson said the ads were not originally planned but coronavirus forced event cancelations, as per CNBC.
“We had a little foray into that [advertising], and I think that’s been quite positive. So, I don’t rule that out just because Tesla doesn’t do it.”
Price Action: Tesla shares closed 4.45% lower at $686.44 on Tuesday and gained 0.34% in the after-hours session. On the same day, Churchill Capital shares closed 9.37% lower at 27.77 and gained 1.19% in the after-hours trading.
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Photo courtesy: Lucid Motors
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