Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular across the globe, but many models aren't selling that well, especially in the US. What gives?
Tesla has single-handedly proven that EVs can attract a mass of buyers. However, that hasn't been the case with most rivals. Lucid VP of Design Derek Jenkins talks about the recipe for a successful electric car.
In a recent interview with Automotive News, the Lucid executive opens up. Automotive News notes that legacy OEMs and startups plan to bring about 100 new electric cars to market in the next three years. The carmakers are well aware that range anxiety is still a major concern for potential buyers, but apparently, design is critical as well, though we don't really have any specific data to prove it.
Design is critical for all cars, regardless of powertrain. Most people will tell you they'd rather have a car the "looks nice." However, if they're just buying a "cheap" commuter car that fits in their tight budget, they probably don't care so much about design. At the same time, folks opting for a cheap commuter car with bland styling aren't typically the same people with plans to buy a Tesla.
Electric cars are expensive, and while Tesla's vehicles aren't nearly as nice as many luxury cars, they're arguably much nicer to look at (inside and out) than almost all budget mobiles. Lucid aims to take its cars to the next level, not only in terms of design, but also range and performance.
In the interview, Jenkins talks about "awesome range, space, and fun" as key factors to EV adoption. While long range is a very important selling point, and it gets attention on paper, super-fast charging is perhaps even more important. People want EVs to charge as quickly as gassing up, and the EV industry is working toward that goal. It's not there yet, and may not be for many years, but charging today, in many cases, is much faster than it used to be.
Still, Jenkins puts range at the top of his list. He says EVs need to have "400-miles plus." He says people want EVs they can use. They want to put their families in them and go on road trips, use them as a "workhorse." For this reason, they also need to have loads of space, not only for passengers but also cargo.
Some automakers, aside from Tesla, have offered EVs with respectable range, passenger, and cargo space. However, they're arguably not "super fun to drive." If people are going to spend a premium on an electric car, much like they would for a luxury car or sports car, there's an expectation that it will be a thrill to drive, and even turn heads in the process.
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