Even considering the COVID-19 crisis, it's been a pretty good year for Peter Rawlinson and Lucid Motors. Lucid has made great strides in 2020; moving towards customer deliveries of its Air luxury sedan and Rawlinson's leadership as both CEO and CTO certainly played an integral role in navigating the company through this tough year.
MotorTrend evidently agrees with us and has placed Rawlinson in its Automotive Person Of The Year Power List for the very first time. Rawlinson didn't just make the top 50 list, he landed at the #5 spot. Considering that the #1 spot wasn't a person, Rawlinson only had three people ranked higher than him. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk finished 6th, just behind his former employee. While I don't know Elon personally, somehow I get the feeling that will bother him, since he has such a competitive personality.
We reached out to Lucid Motors for comment on Rawlinson making MotorTrend's list:
“We were somewhat surprised to see our CEO Peter Rawlinson so high on MotorTrend’s 2021 Power List, although we certainly appreciate the recognition for all the hard work that’s gone into our first product, the Lucid Air. At its heart, Lucid is a technology company, and with Peter at the helm we have endeavored to create as much proprietary and groundbreaking technology as possible. Certain media outlets, including MotorTrend and also InsideEVs, have seen the inside story of our technology, but like us they also know that this sort of thing doesn’t mean much until the rubber hits the road and we start delivering the Air to customers. We look forward to Lucid Motors ramping things up in 2021 to really show its deserving of these sorts of accolades.”
MotorTrend only named 49 individuals this year because they gave the number one spot overall to The American Driver. They explained how the COVID-19 pandemic brought the country to a halt in April and that overall total driving decreased by an amazing 40% compared to the previous year. Then...
"a funny thing happened. With few options for getting out of the house, the car became the symbol of freedom in a time of unimaginable restriction. We started going for drives for the sheer pleasure of it. We planned road trips to escape home confinement to rediscover America's spacious skies, our purple mountains' majesty, fruited plains, and sea to shining seacoasts—all possible while observing sensible social distancing guidelines (the superspreader idiocy of Sturgis notwithstanding).
The American driver has triumphed. We have started living more in the moment. Our wanderlust spirit cannot be quelled. The car has become an extension of our homes, a prized personal space and a sanctuary—whether we sit in the driveway to listen to satellite radio, take a conference call, or just enjoy a quiet moment. Young people forced to home-school started taking drives—as a safe way to escape, decompress, and explore."
And with that, the American Driver walked away with top billing in MotorTrend's Person Of the Year Power list.
Gallery: Lucid Air Images - 10-14
However, it was Rawlinson's finish that was most impressive and well deserved in our eyes. Many of the people on the list, including Elon Musk who was MotorTrend's Person Of The Year in 2017, have made the list multiple times in previous years. This was Rawlinson's first Power List mention and it landed him very close to the top.
Rawlinson and Musk weren't the only representatives from electric vehicle manufacturers. RJ Scaringe, Founder, and CEO of Rivian placed 15th, Thomas Ingenlath, COE of Polestar ranked 30th, and Mate Rimac of Rimac Automobili came in at 33rd.
Other notables in the EV industry were Giovanni Palazzo, CEO And President of Electrify America (#36), Thomas Ulbrich, Member Of Volkswagen's Board Of Management For E-Mobility (#37), and Alejandro Agag, the Formula E Chairman.
I think it's also fair to mention Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group (#17). Diess has been a strong supporter of Volkswagen's efforts to transition to electric vehicles and recently put his job on the line to press the company to prove its commitment to electrification.
Head over to the full article on MotorTrend and let us know if they missed anyone that you believe should have been recognized for their efforts this year.