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Why Lucid Stock Rocketed 280% in 2021

By Neha Chamaria – Updated Jan 12, 2022 at 5:58PM

Key Points

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Lucid took the electric vehicle industry by storm in 2021 and could be headed for another big year.

What happened

2021 was a stellar year for electric vehicle (EV) stock Lucid Group (LCID 6.36%), with its shares gaining a whopping 280.1% in the year, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. In fact, Lucid shares listed in the U.S. in July but soared only in the last quarter of 2021 after major developments at the company stunned the market. Could 2022 be another winning year for Lucid? For that matter, the stock is already up around 20% since the start of the new year.

So what

For several years, Lucid claimed to be building luxury electric cars with a battery range that could give competitors a run for their money. Many laughed off Lucid's claims until mid-September 2021 when Lucid Air Dream Edition was officially accorded the longest-range rating for EVs yet by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At 520 miles, Lucid Air Dream beat its closest competing car -- Model S from Tesla -- by more than 100 miles.

A copper-colored Lucid Air electric car on a highway with mountains in the background.

Image source: Lucid Group.

Lucid's EPA rating stunned EV investors, and the company soon announced the end of October as the deadline for deliveries of the first batch of Air Dream Editions. Lucid delivered on its promise and handed out the first keys to Air Dream at a big event it hosted on Oct. 30. Lucid stock rocketed more than 70% in just the week prior to the event.

In the days that followed, Lucid Air started to receive glorious reviews from everywhere, with Motor Trend even crowning it as the 2022 Car of the Year. Lucid's third-quarter earnings report released mid-November ensured continued momentum in the stock price.

Although Lucid didn't generate any revenue, it revealed that the 13,000 reservations it had secured by the end of Q3 across all its four models -- from the lowest-priced Air Pure to Air Touring, Air Grand Touring, and Air Dream -- were worth around $1.3 billion. By Nov. 15, Lucid's reservations had crossed 17,000 units.

Lucid also kicked off expansion of its facility to a capacity of up to 90,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2023 and said it expects to add another 2.85 million square feet of production footprint in its phase 2 expansion.

At the company's Q3 earnings-conference call, Lucid's CEO Peter Rawlinson revealed the company eventually aims to bring down costs of EVs and build cars for the masses.

Given the backdrop, the euphoria in Lucid wouldn't have died down like it did in December (the stock dropped 28% in the month) had it not been for a subpoena issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pertaining to the company's special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, and some projections and statements it made earlier. The broader stock-market weakness further added to the selling pressure on the stock, although Lucid still wrapped up 2021 on a solid note.

Now what

Lucid has a busy year ahead with launches lined up for its Grand Touring, Touring, and Air Pure models through 2022. The company expects to produce 20,000 units in total this year and expand internationally, including in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa this year, and China in 2023. Lucid is also targeting production of Gravity, its flagship SUV, by late 2023.

In short, there's a lot to look forward to, although all eyes will be on Lucid's delivery numbers, the first revenue it reports in February, and the outcome of the SEC's probe. Any positive development on these fronts should mean another stellar year for this hot EV stock even as Lucid Air Dream continues to make heads turn, and compel more and more analysts to turn bullish on the stock.

Neha Chamaria has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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