(Bloomberg) — Lucid Motors Inc., the Saudi-backed electric-vehicle startup waiting to go public via a blank-check company, remains on schedule to start production and deliveries of its debut electric vehicles this year.
The company has finished its preproduction phase after a series of delays, executives said on call with investors Tuesday, days ahead of a shareholder vote on its listing. Shares of the special purpose acquisition company that’s merging with Lucid, Churchill Capital Corp IV, rose as much as 2.3% in after-hours trading before paring their gains.
“The testing and validation of Lucid Air is progressing well,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Rawlinson said on the call. “It’s on track for the second half of 2021 start of production for customer deliveries.”
The Newark, California-based company also plans to accelerate its factory expansion to meet demand and add a dedicated assembly line for its next model, an electric SUV. Funds from the merger will allow Lucid to speed up capital expenditures, Chief Financial Officer Sherry House said.
Lucid plans to have as many as 20 retail locations by year-end and reiterated ambitions to enter the energy storage market.
The company has touted ranges in excess of 500 miles on a single charge for the debut version of its battery-electric sedan, called the Air.
Despite disruption from the global pandemic, the company was able to build a factory from the ground up in less than 12 months in Casa Grande, Arizona. However, it also faced supply-chain issues that delayed deliveries to customers on multiple occasions.
In February, the company announced a combination with Churchill Capital that will generate $4.4 billion in cash. The reverse merger represented the biggest injection of capital into Lucid since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund invested more than $1 billion in 2018.
Shareholders are due to vote on the transaction on July 22.
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