Lucid Motors, a Silicon Valley-based company will build a $700 million facility starting next year in Casa Grande, Ariz. Once completed, backers say the Lucid factory could produce anywhere between 20,000 to 130,000 cars at maximum capacity.
Plans were unveiled during a Nov. 29 event featuring state Gov. Doug Ducey and Lucid representatives.
“This project will create thousands of new direct jobs, support many more indirect jobs and attract new suppliers to the Casa Grande region,” Ducey told reporters.
Lucid describes itself as “a luxury mobility company that is reimagining what a car can be … applying innovative engineering, design and technology to define a new class of premium electric vehicle.”
David Salguero, a Lucid spokesperson, said the facility will be in Casa Grande and will be built out in phases, with vehicle manufacturing starting in 2018. By 2022, there will be 2,000 direct full-time employees, he added.
Salguero said construction details on the plant will not be available until next year, but a car launch party is set for Dec. 14 in Fremont, California.
Susan Murray, state Commerce Authority communications director, said Pinal County is purchasing land that it will lease back to the county, and the state offered up to $5 million in grants, but it is performance-based. “We’ll negotiate a contract with a term sheet that has milestones for job creation and capital investments,” she explained. “As milestones are reached, the $5 million will be paid out in installments.”
Murray said Lucid is eligible for a qualified facility tax credit program, which is designed to stimulate manufacturing – and if it creates all the jobs it says it will, it could receive up to $40 million in tax credits. Lucid also submitted an application for $1.5 million job-training grant, which is reimbursable, Murray added.
Joe Pyritz, Pinal County’s communications director said he could not divulge the land price, as a development agreement not in place yet. He said the county hopes to release an official amount early next year.
The project is the third electric vehicle factory to be announced for the Southwest in the last three years: Tesla’s “gigafactory” project is near Reno, Nev., and the now on-hold Faraday Future is planning a site in Las Vegas.
In the Tesla deal, the state of Nevada offered a $1.25 billion in tax initiatives (more than twice that of what Tesla founder Elon Musk said Tesla would need, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal).
Faraday Future, a Chinese-backed company, has halted its Las Vegas plans for now; a spokesperson said that decision “will let the company direct money and attention to developing the concept car it wants to present at the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.” Nevada’s government offered Faraday $335 million in both tax breaks and infrastructure improvements.