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Lucid Air EV's First Recall

Lucid Air EV's First Recall

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by Gill D on February 23, 2022

The Lucid Air production model was unveiled to the public in September 2020, with production starting in 2021. But just as 2022 kicks off, the manufacturer has had to recall 203 models. A probable issue in the front strut damper is the subject of the recall. This fault, which the firm claims is the consequence of poor assembly by a supplier, is projected to appear in around 1% of the recalled vehicles, according to the company. According to Lucid, no cases of the part failing have been reported. The company launched the recall and will check and replace any defective components.

Lucid, being a newcomer, has already delivered 203 Air Dream Editions to clients. It's nothing to scoff at, with a $169,000 price tag and little name recognition prior to last year. That would not have been feasible without a significant investment from Saudi Arabia's national wealth fund, which has taken controlling control of Lucid in an effort to reduce the country's reliance on oil revenue. The automaker has proven to be one of its most profitable ventures thus far, and the company intends to utilize the seed funding to push out more affordable versions of the Air in order to become a serious EV business globally.

However, the corporation has already suffered as a result of the recall, with shares of the automaker plunging more than 4% after the news broke. Although the recall is not a huge issue, it raises concerns that Lucid, like other new-generation EV manufacturers such as Tesla, may experience similar quality issues. Lucid, for one, has invested a significant amount of effort and money to ensuring that the company's quality control issues are minimized.

Last year, to avoid quality problems, Lucid Motors established a $700 million manufacturing plant in Arizona's Sonoran Desert. Elon Musk famously slept under his desk in Fremont, California, grumbling about his firm being "in production hell."

Steve Inglis, who had a 30-year career at Ford before joining Lucid as director of body structures manufacturing, said at the time, “This is production heaven; no production hell is going to happen here.” The factory’s goal was to produce 20,000 Airs in 2022.

Lucid put together an all-star production team and gave them carte blanche to integrate the most cutting-edge industrial technology and quality standards. Mike Boike, Lucid's director of manufacturing and head of Arizona operations, has worked with Kia, DaimlerChrysler, and GM in the past. According to Boike, a single Air is made up of 2300 parts from 300 vendors, a sophisticated dance that may be thrown off by a single bad part or process.

The Air's power units are assembled in Lucid's nearby satellite powertrain facility, demonstrating the company's emphasis with miniaturization and efficiency. At 3.98 horsepower per pound of mass, these small powder kegs have nearly three times the power density of Tesla's best model. A single unit containing the motor, gearbox, inverter, and differential, as well as 650 horsepower, weighs only 163 pounds and fits within a regular roller bag.

6600 cylindrical battery cells in 22 modules power the power units, one on each axle for all-wheel drive vehicles. Another Lucid innovation is the use of aluminum ribbon to connect cells instead of traditional wire, which researchers claim saves 80 horsepower that would normally be squandered due to electrical resistance.

Individual battery cells are tested and installed by Lucid's manufacturing robots in a flat skateboard container that also serves as a structural element. Those battery cells are adhered to each other using glue and dried for 26 minutes before being sealed with a metal cooling plate. The cooling plate is the new norm in EVs, according to Sandy Munro, a Detroit-area engineer who has become online famous for his teardowns of Teslas and other automobiles.

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