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Lucid Motors agrees to go public with $24B valuation (autonews.com)
51 points by rsj_hn 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 115 comments

This is dizzying. Over the summer Ford Motor Company had a valuation of <$24B (currently $46B), and yet in comparison to valuations across tech and especially the EV industry, doesn't seem far off what the market will accept for promises of tech-driven progress and growth. SPACs in theory seem like a great escape from the horrors of IPOs, but in the current manic climate it's all but inevitable that millions of retail investors are going to get fleeced when the SPACs collectively fall short of generating the necessary free cash-flow to justify their collective valuation. This could be years out, though, still, so hopefully there'll be some growing into valuations and a gradual come-off instead of a complete meltdown, but history shows we tend to make markets go boom and bust, so don't count on it.

Yep. I'd say the traditional auto makers are way undervalued relative to Tesla. But what do I know?

The only thing that I can see as an investment thesis is:

1. The whole auto industry is going to rapidly transition to electric only cars (not hybrid, but plug-in)

2. The established automakers are too slow, due to their size, bureaucracy, and relationships with component suppliers, unions, and dealers, to be able to efficiently make this switch

3. Therefore nimble electric vehicle startups are the smart bet.

I disagree with this thesis -- for example it will take several decades just to improve our electricity grid to handle a real rush of PEV, and those electricity utilities are a lot slower and more bureacratic than the mainstream automakers. And that's just one of many arguments against this thesis. Moreover there isn't enough data to suggest that people will accept PEV - you are talking about minuscule volumes so far and are betting everything on extrapolating exponential growth from a small base.

But at least it's not a crazy thesis. A case can be made to a rational person to justify these valuations, even if most rational people are going to be skeptical of this case.

> 2. The established automakers are too slow, due to their size, bureaucracy, and relationships with component suppliers, unions, and dealers, to be able to efficiently make this switch

Literally every major car maker has an EV on the market or is launching one this year. The problem isn’t the car makers, it’s that the market is still early.

Give it 10 years. There’s lots of kinks left to figure out that we take for granted in modern cars.

Most notably cold weather performance, weight, resell value, range, and longevity. Can a modern EV be expected to work fine in 20 years? An ICE can.

And no matter what everyone says, EVs are still kind of impractical. I rented a Tesla for a weekend (in SF) and it was terrible. We spent the whole time chasing chargers and ultimately almost destroyed the car according to the dashboard warnings. Finally found an available charger in the city with 3% battery left.

For my situation an EV is MORE practical--no gas stations. In four years, only done a small handful of trips longer than 300 miles (range of car). I'd bet the most common US car trip originates from a home where the car can charge and is under 30 miles. Most US consumers who switch to EV are likely to feel it was an overall experience upgrade.

Any car is a symphony of parts with varying durability, and if anything an EV will have fewer parts. So I think for the traditional manufactures doing ICE & EV cars, we'll see the EVs last longer outside the battery. That's the nexus of the longevity worry and I'm interested in whether newer solid-state batteries for cars start to solve for overall lifespan?

No gas stations is a huge downside. If you run out of juice, you're waiting for a flatbed tow truck to take you to a charging station. With a hybrid you can call AAA or you can walk to a gas station and grab a gallon of dead dinosaurs.

I don't understand the insistence on being "fully EV." Just toss a 5 gallon tank and a small gas engine and generator in in every electric vehicle until batteries have a chance to iterate a generation or two.

We have driven our Teslas tens of thousands of miles and have never once been in fear of running out of juice. I can even charge at any 120V outlet in a pinch with the mobile connector [1]. In the very unlikely event of running the car down to 0% SOC, AAA will tow me to the nearest Supercharger [2], J1772 charger [3], 220V outlet, or our high power wall charger at home.

Range anxiety is overblown and well past its expiration date as a concern for EV uptake. Tesla is selling half a million vehicles a year, and yet, we hear very little of folks running out of power on the side of the road. Go figure.

> I don't understand the insistence on being "fully EV." Just toss a 5 gallon tank and a small gas engine and generator in in every electric vehicle until batteries have a chance to iterate a generation or two.

Automakers have sold hybrids for two decades. The evidence does not support enabling selling hybrids for another two decades instead of moving to EVs now.

[1] https://www.tesla.com/support/home-charging-installation/mob...

[2] https://supercharge.info/map

[3] https://plugshare.com/

> Range anxiety is overblown and well past its expiration date as a concern for EV uptake. Tesla is selling half a million vehicles a year

It might be overblown but since USA is a 3rd world country the lack of infrastructure for EVs becomes a real problem unless you’re a suburbanite with a garage.

When we rented a Tesla it was a public holiday which meant all the big parking garages in SF that showed up on Tesla’s map were closed. We had to limp around the whole city while the car yelled at us that we’re about to permanently damage the battery. When we finally found a charger it was a $20 uber ride home.

Overall “fantastic” experience.

I’m sure you’re aware that San Francisco is not representative of most of the United States. Roughly 70% of all housing units in the US have a garage.

Your edge case had a poor experience, but it isn’t the norm.

Yes I agree EVs make a great commuter car. It’s just the exact opposite of how I ever use a car.

And in cities, which is where most people live, the EV infrastructure is not quite there yet. Making them impractical for 82% of Americans according to a quick google search on “percent of urban americans”


That said, I didn’t look into how dense these supoosed urban areas are and how many garages there are. Could be they count places like Mountain View as urban.

> we hear very little of folks running out of power on the side of the road.

I have a friend that owns a towing company. They recently added a dedicated flatbed for dead electrics because "X mile range" trip planning doesn't account for going up mountains.

Can’t speak for all EVs, but Tesla vehicles do take into account elevation climbs and descents when route planning and estimating range.

Good point though, more range and charging stations are still needed in mountainous regions.

> No gas stations is a huge downside. If you run out of juice, you're waiting for a flatbed tow truck to take you to a charging station. With a hybrid you can call AAA or you can walk to a gas station and grab a gallon of dead dinosaurs.

Another possible solution is a mobile off-grid charging station. A van or truck or trailer full of batteries and charging equipment. If you run out of charge, it comes to you, you plug your EV into it, it charges your batteries enough to make it to the nearest on-grid charging station. Quite possibly a better option than a tow truck.


(You could even have a truck with a generator set and charger for mobile emergency charging. Not so environmentally friendly, but it would work.)

AAA piloted such a service, but there wasn't enough demand when you can tow an EV to a charger without the cost of rolling batteries on wheels to the EV [1].

[1] https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a15346575/placebo-on-wheel... ("Placebo on Wheels: AAA Charging Trucks Seek to Remedy EV Range Anxiety, Prove Mostly Unneeded")

If they tried again in the future, when EV adoption is greater, they might have more success.

It is hard to say whether the failure of the idea is because it is never going to work, or because the market wasn't ready for it yet.

> Quite possibly a better option than a tow truck

If they can get it down to 10 minutes, then yes, the wait time is better than load, attach, tow, detach sequence

It only needs to be enough to get you to a dedicated charge station. We are already at 10 minutes for the use case afaik.

Tesla is trying to say the computers parts in their cars are actually consumables that need to be replaced. They argued eMMCs were consumables and would require a $2000 fix. The regulators had to step in and fore their hand to do recalls.

Car manufacturers will need to keep their service centers happy by putting in serviceable parts. Tesla’s the only large exception since they lack a dealer network but they will eventually play the same game.

Yup. Car market moves slowly and requires massive infrastructure. I've never bought a car that was less than 7 years old and I drove it for about a decade. Average vehicle age is 12 years and 1/4 of vehicles on the road are older than 16 years. New cars are only 6% of the market and cars are lasting longer every year, since quality and durability keeps increasing. Really they keep getting better and better.

My best guess is that in 30 years, the majority of cars on the road are still going to be ICE. But in 100 years? Who knows, we might get a fantastic battery breakthrough or perhaps we'll be driving fusion powered cars :P

> cars are lasting longer every year, since quality and durability keeps increasing.

This isn't true. Japanese cars don't have the same reliability they did in the 90's. You're not gonna find anything like a 2JZ engine on an affordable car these days.

VW quality seems to be on the verge of falling off a cliff as they seem to be desperate to increase profits without improving quality.

Oddly enough I would mention Korean cars for being especially reliable, but then Hyundai and Kia got hacked the other day, so...

By the data, it IS true, though. Cars—especially the engines—are lasting longer because we're just better at making them. Reliability by manufacturer varies of course. Since the engines are lasting longer, our durability problems now turn to the interiors, which currently can't be updated or refreshed the way say a kitchen can. Would like to see that change.

You're right, the data does seem to support you.


I rag on body styling but in terms of engine power, efficiency, safety, durability, features, and interior quality, cars have gotten much, much better. The launch of new innovative disruption first from Japan, then Korea, and now homegrown competitors like Tesla has really improved competition and driven more innovation in the industry. The new tech is also getting insane, with hand gestures recognition, cameras everywhere, blind spot sensors. It's a great time to drive a car.

There are cons as well. Manufacturers are mostly moving away from buttons, which is arguably a safety issue. It's harder to find hydraulic steering so we're left with the muted electronic racks you find today. They have all sorts of technology you find useful, but I actually spent a significant chunk of time figuring out how to remove the modem in my car. Oh, and they're typically much heavier, the bane of any performance vehicle (and bad for the environment, fuel economy, and safety for pedestrians).

The 2JZs cost Porsche money new. Here in New Zealand Japanese imports could be had for a massive discount but they were never an affordable car.

The 2JZ is a ridiculous bargain for the value, even today. I'm not sure what you consider Porsche money but you can get a brand new 2JZ for 4 digits.

The other engine that comes to mind is the LS1, which was also developed in the 90s and is still used by GM today.

Outside of those two I'd start looking at supercars (I don't mean Porsche, I mean Koenigsegg) for engines that are as impressive.

What's so impressive about 2JZ?

Ability to handle vastly more power than from the factory with bolt-on upgrades.

Extreme reliability and ability to handle massive amounts of power.

Not in decent countries. UK is banning new ICE car sales in 9 years. Norway is aiming for a ban in 4 years. Several other EU countries are planning for a 2030 ban.

Those timelines are subject to political winds, not the laws of physics.

Decent countries let markets move as needed because there are far more trade offs than any politician can fathom.

Also I wonder what Norway is going to do if and when their offshore oil export business dries up?

Tesla don’t really cater for the U.K. or euro market - where’s the fiesta/corsa/golf size range? Or even the focus/fabia/astra size?

The model 3 is too big and too pricey compared to things like the leaf.

I suppose the BMW 3 series and Mercedes C-Class aren't products which cater to the U.K. or Euro market either?

Obviously Tesla doesn't cater to the entire Euro market. But to suggest that Telsa has to cater to all segments in order to be taken seriously is a rather weird bar.

Really minor part of the market.

There's a strong argument that it's simply the lack of advertising of EVs, educating and manipulating the public to buy them, that's a major cause for their slower adoption; Tesla doesn't spend money on advertising - that may have to change once all the major ones are pushing ads on people, that of course increases sale price to cover the cost - so maybe Tesla won't.

> Most notably cold weather performance, weight, resell value, range, and longevity.

Just from my perspective, owning an EV:

- cold weather performance: Yeah, range is decreased. You deal with it. I can still drive to my grandparents cabin with one fast charge that finishes before I've bought all the groceries I need for the stay. Day-to-day it's better than ICE. Never any problems starting the car, and you can pre-heat it, which is a huge plus.

- weight: Our EV is about 100kg heavier than the gasoline variant I think, but it's not designed from ground-up to be an EV. I think you can get 40-50kWh EVs without much weight penalty now. Not that added weight is a big problem for personal cars. Since the weight is so low, it's a benefit to roll resistance.

- range: Sure, this could always be better. But for a lot of people, once you get an EV, and get used to it, you start to flip your thinking from "I should buy one with the longest range I can afford" to "Dealing with charging isn't so bad after all, I should get an EV with the smallest range that's still practical, otherwise most of the battery is dead weight most of the time"

- longevity: "Can a modern EV be expected to work fine in 20 years? An ICE can." - OK, sure, it might still be running. But from my parents experience with 15+ year old cars it's not something I'm keen on dealing with. There are a lot of parts that starts to wear down around that time, and they had a lot of issues with expensive repairs that was barely worth it. The first Nissan Leafs are 10 years old now, and despite a bad battery architecture they're doing quite fine. If the batteries last that long, I think I'd rather have a 20 year EV than a 20 year ICE. The range might be crap, but it can still be useful as a second car for local errands, and it'll probably be much less likely to fail unexpectedly. You might also see third party affordable battery replacements be available in 5-10 years. If you replace the battery the car is essentially as good as new with regards to the drivetrain. Maybe even better than new, since batteries get better/cheaper over time.


- "And no matter what everyone says, EVs are still kind of impractical": True-ish, but that depends a lot on infrastructure. Here in Norway it's really not much of a problem at all. Half the supermarkets and all the shopping malls around me have fast chargers. Even IKEA has a bunch of them. Every road-side McDonalds. I think most apartment complexes have set up for doing over-night charging, you just need to pay for the charging box and installation. Even with out-door parking. This has ramped up really quickly the last 5 years. You just need that critical mass of EVs, and some government support (which for the US should hopefully be better the next 4 years). Remember that most of the charging stations models and companies didn't even exist when Norway really started ramping up 5 years back. It's getting easier every year.

The technology is good enough IMO. It's mostly about marketing and infrastructure. Most people prefer EVs after getting used to them. There's a lot of small benefits people aren't aware of (such as scheduled pre-heating in winter)

I think the US has bigger challenges than the rest of the world for a bunch of reasons (inefficient government, long-distance driving at high speeds, suburban sprawl, a love for SUVs, etc.). But even there I think you can start to see EVs taking off within 5 years with a bit of a push.

I'm mostly on board with your formulation, but I'd tweak it some. I'd say the thesis is:

1. Battery electric vehicles are the inevitable future, so you can invest now (when it's possibly too early) or invest later (when it will definitely be more expensive). So far, the market seems to be on board with investing now.

2. Established automakers are ripe for disruption in the classic sense, not because they're too slow or too bureaucratic, but due to their opportunity costs. They make money now selling ICE vehicles and lose money when they try to sell electric vehicles. It feels like the Apple II to Mac transition but they don't have a Steve Jobs at the helm to force the issue.

3. Therefore, electric vehicle manufacturers are the smart bet for the long haul.

And, for what it's worth, as an EV owner, I'm absolutely on board with this thesis. Infrastructure changes will come fast once demand is there.

I'm having a hard time understanding why investing later would be more expensive than investing now.

Unless you're taking into account the opportunity cost, I would expect the cost of investing in an electric infrastructure to be lower once the kinks have been worked out by early adopters.

On top of having a brand new set of expertise to shop for, the traditional automakers also will have to modify their existing factories. They'll have to do that eventually, but there might be some massive cost associated with adapting factories to the wrong tech.

I'm talking about stock investors. People tend to buy on anticipation, so the folks who get in early drive up the price for the folks who are waiting for a sure thing.

And what if fuel cell electric vehicles became the future? Wouldn't you have completely gotten it wrong?

Traditional car companies are valued the old-fashioned way, on future earnings. Tesla is not.

Doesn't this just ignore Enterprise value? Ford has something around $160Bn in debt, so the real enterprise value of Ford is close to £200Bn. A hot new startup is probably still a little over-valued at 10% of Ford, but I don't think you're comparing like for like because Lucid doesn't have a huge amount of debt on its balance sheet (I don't think)

This doesn't make any sense. These companies are valued at their market capitalization -- i.e., the number of outstanding shares multiplied by the price per share. Enterprise value is a metric, but it's not clear why you're proposing to take 10% of "that" (not sure you nailed EV, either) and compare it to the SPAC's market cap. The parent was talking about free cash flow, from which it is generally agreed market cap should be derived in an efficient market with perfect information.

The market is factoring in that debt. So if Ford magically cancelled out its $160B, its market value would rise significantly.

So I guess one could compare its post-debt estimated value to this new startup as a upper bound since the startup doesn’t have that debt.

But auto making requires lots of capital so avoiding debt will likely not be possible as the company grows. Although if they keep valuations they can just sell stock and avoid debt.

No. The market only cares about Ford's debt in so much as (1) Fords debt service reduces free cash flow and (1) it threatens a potential bankruptcy that could wipe out equity in the worst case. Sure, cancelling the debt would eliminate the debt service and significantly increase Ford's free cash flow, its market cap should increase, but only if doing so was free.

Crazy, they barely have a product. This is Nikola 2.0.

Going public early in a company’s life used to be pretty normal. Only in recent decades has it become the norm to wait to go public until late in a company’s growth.

I think going public early is better. VC’s and insiders have been capturing the lion’s share of early-stage growth returns. If companies go public earlier, more of that growth will be accessible to more investors.

I have a paranoid fear that keeping companies private MUCH longer than previously normal will be the status quo going forward now that the general public has easy access to active stock trading.

A truly open market strips away a lot of the advantage insiders and old money have enjoyed for a long time, and keeping growth companies in the private market is a way to prolong that privilege.

I should add, keeping companies private could also be a scheme for throwing a wrench into the rising calls for a wealth tax. How you value property that has no liquid market (like private company shares) is one of the issues that makes a wealth tax extremely difficult to implement in practice.

This is already the status quo, and has been for many years now. There are only rare examples today where companies that have a plausible prospect of growing >100X, go public before this growth happens.

I'm inclined to agree with you that defending some sort of insider advantage is part of the reason, along with expensive regulations and avoiding manipulative, activist speculative behavior.

A $24bn public valuation without a product for sale has to be off the charts as "going public early", though, right? Amazon raised, what, $50M or $100M in its IPO (and is what I'd consider an early one)?

you mean versus having a product that loses money ?

Uber was losing between $1B and $5B a quarter when they IPO'd. In the last quarter of 2020, Uber lost close to $1B, and they're still valued at $108B, with no real long term plan for survivability. The way I see it, risks include legislative changes WRT driver status, bad press, self driving cars, a post pandemic world where more people own a car, and less people are in cities. And we're talking about a company that is primarily marketing and software, where the wind can change very quickly, and assets are mostly intangible and untransferable.

car manufacturing is much harder to get into, so having a factory and an almost-complete design is already a huge milestone. Obviously, they'll need to sell _some_ cars, but they could even make money if they were to sell cars at a loss, through carbon credits.

Pets.com went public the year after incorporating. The year after that they liquidated. (Granted... those were crazy times we probably don’t need to replicate.)

At least I got this sock puppet dog out of it

(Yes, for real, I have one)

Lucid supplies the batteries for Formula E, and has for a few years, and I believe they recently resigned a contract to be the continued battery supplier for FE.

That doesn't sound like a $24B business.

A company that is successfully making high-performance vehicle batteries only being valued at $24bn a decade before laws force the electrification of all the cars in the US and Europe seems really undervalued to me.

Maybe not, but they are clearly doing much more than just that, as a cursory google search (and the article) tells us.

Nikola had contracts too, with the likes of GM.

Nikola’s contract with GM was to buy from GM.

It is still a contract of some repute with 11% stake. Do you think GM would sell to just any other startup with no history, if it wasn't for the hype??

The 11% was an additional sweetener given to GM to induce the partnership, not money GM was investing in Nikola.

Would I be willing to take some shine from an EV company willing to give me an approximately $2B (at the time) stake in their company, pay me around $700M of my own costs, and buy vehicles from me at a cost-plus arrangement? Shall I use my pen or yours?


Disclaimer: I’ve been quite short $NKLA for a while, quite profitably; I still am.

It's easier to create a luxury car, just how Tesla started, so at least they have a chance to come out with the $170k product that looks great.

I can imagine people buying it just so that they can be different from Tesla.

Nicola wanted to compete in high volume battery manufacturing, which can't be done without a long ramp-up time.

Many Tesla fans are willing to turn a blind eye to defects that you typically wouldn't find in other luxury cars. I don't think Lucid Motors' fan base is that dedicated and forgiving.

If they get a fan base, then by definition that base is going to be willing to turn a blind eye to some defects because they love some other aspect of the car. For Tesla, people loved the acceleration, handling, and interior styling, and so they were willing to forgive some of the build quality issues like gaps between the door and the body.

The question is whether Lucid can deliver some unique experience that customers value, and if so, then they too will be forgiven for their own gaps.

I’m trying to decide between buying a Tesla or a Porsche Taycan, and the main thing why Tesla is interesting to me is autopilot and the supercharger network: many people write that they can go 2x as far with autopilot without getting tired, which sounds great for getting lots of vacations or for traffic jams.

Purely anecdotal, but modern Porsches that is not a coupe (defined as having 2 doors) have shown horrible reliability of onboard electronics. Not that Tesla is a lot better either (MCU black-screen-of-death comes to mind), but yeah, YMMV.

I do agree that Supercharger matters a lot more than its "sticker price" and all the drama on various incentives. Turns out it did compensate (somewhat) early adopters for the, uh, rather brutal depreciation not completely anticipated by all, and is a huge enabler for even the not-so-long-ranged variants.

As a recent Tesla owner, the Taycan looks real nice. As far I have distilled it, the pros list comes down to roughly


* Price

* Supercharger network

* Minimalism

* Autopilot on highway

* Range


* Interior quality

* More familiar coming from ICE

* The Porsche dealership experience

You can see my lists are a bit lopsided, and I actually prefer the minimal Tesla interior to the luxury Taycan interior.. but I actually think the Taycan is a great car and can't fault someone for considering it.

I just did come back from a 1200 mile road trip that I could not have done very easily in a Taycan. The supercharger network was pretty flawless.

Having an electric car is still a luxury, and most people understand it. Economy of scale is not yet at the level of gas cars (the turning point will be when self driving starts working or at most 2030 when the batteries get cheap).

I know a few long time luxury car owners and enthusiasts. They also invest in TSLA. I’ve asked them: if you invest in TSLA and you spend millions on your car collection how come you don’t own any Tesla cars? The answer is they are not perceived as luxury. They don’t have the exclusivity of a real luxury car. So therefore I don’t think we can say that electric car is luxury. It is just electric. Will there be luxury electric cars? Someday but not now. And im not sure with Lucid either

It depends on your definition of “luxury”. I’d consider Tesla “luxury” like BMW is “luxury”, but a bit less refined and heavier on the technology.

If you’re spending millions on cars you’re probably into “exotics” / “supercars” like higher-end Porches, Ferraris, and up.

Taycan is considered luxury by most owners. I consider it as a dumb luxury electric car, similar to a Rolex watch that I bought but never use (compared to an Apple Watch that people use even though it’s not a luxury).

It's easy to create a prototype, the true test of any manufacturer is it's ability to roll these from the factories at scale. How many have they rolled yet?

I think this is a greatly underappreciated point. Tesla is the picture of success these days but people forget things were looking quite grim from a production perspective not too long ago, and even now, Tesla's rush to scale has earned their cars a reputation for factory defects. Success is not a given even with a compelling prototype.

Why would they need scale for a $170k car? I don’t think there are many buyers in that range.

I don’t agree with the $24B valuation, I just think that they have at least a chance to sell real cars, unlike Nikola that had a bad strategy from the start.

You’d be paying for earnings several years out, for sure. But I think it’s hardly fair to compare to Nikola.

Trevor Milton’s experience prior to starting Nikola was selling home security systems. Lucid’s leadership team features various Tesla, Audi, Ford, VW, etc. veterans. (See page 9: https://www.lucidmotors.com/files/lucid-investor-deck-februa...)

Lucid has finished building a factory that can produce roughly 30k cars per year, expandable to 400k.

They’ve given rides in their launch vehicle to various auto journalists (https://youtu.be/gqSN2QNgO5k).

Their battery pack technology is a component of the Formula E drivetrain system (https://lucidmotors.com/media-room/atieva-powers-season-6-fo...).

This isn’t a “Nikola rolling a non functional truck down a hill” situation. They have a working product.

The car could suck, the company could be overvalued. But I think hard to compare Nikola to Lucid.


I should also add for comparison, that at the time that Tesla IPOed in 2010, it was a 1.7B market cap company. Only ~2450 Roadsters (their only car at the time) would be sold in total. By November 29, 2010 Tesla had not yet sold 1400 cars (https://www.tesla.com/blog/race-champions-2010-motorsport-go...).

Tesla's Fremont factory was opened in October 2010. In other words, when the company went public on June 29th, 2010 you would have been buying into a car company without a factory.

The first Model S wasn't delivered until June 2012 (https://www.tesla.com/blog/tesla-motors-begin-customer-deliv...).

Not to say that Lucid will or won't ever reach Tesla's heights, but assigning a 12B valuation to the company isn't loony. The SPAC price though is a different story.


There are some fun short videos of Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson in the workshop from his Tesla days (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrbOLHW8Pec, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YxHp2ot61Y, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGKqPYvtqXE). It's pretty awe inspiring to see where Tesla and the global EV industry as a whole was in 2011 vs today.

I live close to their corporate office and can easly spot test mules running around in almost no camouflage.

Comparing Lucid to Nikola is stupid. Lucid is nothing like Nikola.

Yes, you could argue a 24b valuation is too expensive. But it basic supply and demand.

You have a limited amount of shares of a very hyped up company in a very hyped up industry.

Of course valuations are going to be expensive lol.

Valuations only matter if you are selling today or tomorrow, not 10-20 years down the line.

So correct me if I am wrong in my understanding here but...

CCIV has a NAV of $10. The SPAC trades at $55 now (though down after this news).

This means that whatever price Lucid just agreed to for their valuation, the SPAC holders effectively pay 5.5x that amount for the shares they are getting in Lucid.

So that means that the SPAC investors just effectively invested in Lucid at a 132B valuation?

Is that right?

It's absurdly complicated, but....as I understand it, yes.

1. CCIV sold shared at $10 each, raising a bit over $2b

2. Those shares were trading around $55. This price represents a "pre-pop"; the price spiked on rumours CCIV would be merging with Lucid. There's still only $2b of money in the pot though.

3. CCIV is agreeing to value Lucid at $24b. The $2b of cash will buy around 8% of the company.

4. A seperate (PIPE) investment is adding another $2b of cash to the pot, but what terms the PIPE investment is getting and what valuation they're using is unknown.

5. So yes, if you bought a share in CCIV for $55 (or held onto it rather than selling it for $55), and are opting not to redeem, you're saying that you think $10 worth of Lucid at a $24b value is going to be worth over $55 at their "true" valuation which would be....yeah, at least $132b.

See also: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-02-19/michae...

That was written a few days ago before the deal had been made when there was speculation of a $12b valuation, and it already seemed a bit wild

So...yes, either I'm missing something basic, or a $55 share value now is basically a gamble on Lucid having a market cap of well over $100b once it's trading.

(Talk about first day pops; with SPACs you don't even have to wait until a deal has been signed to get a several hundred percent pop....)

No, the shares of CCIV were valued by Lucid at their approximate market price, not the NAV.

Why would this be the case? The money they're getting is coming from CCIV's assets (which don't change based on the market price) and the new PIPE.

No I don't think so. A ~$37 price tag for CCIV would translate to ~$60B Lucid valuation. I'll buy in if it gets close to that tomorrow (I expect it will)


I think maybe I got the NAV wrong due to this PIPE thing that they are getting extra capital from.

But with your math then the people buying at $55 bought in at a 90b valuation?

That's still a lot higher than the 24B in this news headline.

How gracious of them, a 13 year old "startup" with no product, revenue or customers.

Why does it have to look so boring and so much like a Tesla? Car design has become a soft gelatinous blob of marketing dictated homogeneity.

Non soft looking EVs have bad range. Batteries have very little energy stored compared to gasoline, and you have to fight to get usable range. Skinny tires and aerodynamics are big in EV world.

There are substantial constraints imposed by crash-safety/roadworthiness laws and aerodynamics; I believe those are the largest reasons that most cars look quite similar these days.

Does it look like a Tesla? Which part? I don't think anyone would ever confuse it for a Tesla, unless you zoomed in to only show a door handle.

Blame consumers. That's what they want and that's also what is aerodynamic while maintaining what consumers like. Things like the Prius, Bolt, Volt, etc. are not popular car designs. Electric car makers know that - so they don't do weird shit like those are. America really loves its basic sedan shape. If you constrict yourself to sedan mentality then you eventually get cars that all look pretty similar because they need to be very aero and practical... while also being safe.

Kia Soul is boxy and doing quite well. People love Jeeps, they love the old Toyota FJ Cruiser so much that resale values are insane. Landshark is hottest SUV right now, is totally sold out, and has a boxy look. A boxy electric hummer is coming out.

All of those are SUVs. You can escape the trend when it comes to SUVs/trucks because you've basically given up on the idea of efficiency but when it comes to regular cars - you can't escape the shape...

That's a good point. I can't think of an interesting (modern) car design that isn't an SUV. Perhaps the Fiat.

Environmental and emission norms don't apply to SUVs due to lawyer magic, so they just take 5000 pounds of steel and drop in a ginormous engine to make it go.

> Environmental and emission norms don't apply to SUVs due to lawyer magic

This is false.

SUVs need to meet emissions rules. Mileage rules are applied to automakers for the average of what they sell, allowing them to sell high and low mileage models as long as they meet the average. For federal EPA standards, SUVs and sedans both need to meet the same tier 2 requirements, and of course California applies stricter rules to both.

Perhaps you were thinking of the old tier 1 requirements, which had different rules for SUVs? That's two decades out of date. Since 2007, when the transition period ended, the much stricter tier 2 EPA requirements apply equally and make no distinction between SUVs and sedans provided the car weighs less than 8500 pounds. The largest SUV on the market, the Mercedes G Class, weighs 6800 pounds. The average SUV weighs about 5000 pounds, so no, they aren't dropping 5000 pound engines in them.

As far as I know - SUVs are classified as light trucks by federal standards. That means less intense regulations on fuel economy and what not. I don't know if that changed recently but when you google it, everything points to that still being true.

Lots of weird things like this. Just read an article about how bumper height laws in the US do not apply to SUVs. So they can be at whatever height, which causes big problems in crashes.

There may be differences in bumper regulations -- I have no idea -- but there are no fuel economy or emissions differences.

Again, this is false. It stopped being true over a decade ago.

Yeah, I miss the quirky cars of the past, especially 1940s-1960s. Even cars for the common man like the Fiat 1100 were more interesting (in terms of body design) than the luxury cars of today.


The cars of today are much more constrained in terms of aerodynamics (fuel economy) and safety than the cars of yesteryear. There were cars in the 50s that had better aerodynamics backwards than forwards, and just watch one of those videos of an old car in a crash test collapse on itself before they figured out safety cages. There are essentially a very few optimal designs for safety and economy, so these days everything is essentially tweaks off that.

Maybe we can have fun designs like this if there are ever city cars with low speed focus and regulations. I can only imagine how much fuel those cars in your link would use at 70 mph (if they ever got up to that speed)

Engine technology has improved substantially, so I don't think you need to adopt 1960s horsepower in order to get 1960s quality body design. Aerodynamics takes a hit, so maybe that powerful engine wont hit 140mph, but it will have plenty of power and acceleration with a modern engine. And even for non-boxy cars, look at some of these streamline designs: https://1u4we0207ruc34o1s412c2ca-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-...

Cars these days are shaped more by a wind tunnel than a designer. This is especially true for EVs where range is an important number.

You can always buy a Porsche Taycan or Audi e-tron GT. There are already Tesla competitors that make beautiful cars.

For what exactly? The future sales?

Why “agrees” and not “decides” ?

The rise and acceptance of SPACs is the clearest sign we're in a bubble. I hope we don't look back at 2021 the way we do at 1999...

How does a SPAC indicate a bubble? They're an alternative to an IPO with very clear pros and cons relative to an IPO itself.

Or do you mean to say the number of companies going public indicates a bubble?

How does a SPAC indicate a bubble?

It's a blank cheque company, common in bubbles, from the first one 300 years ago to today, along with inexplicable valuations (highest in history), a lack of distinction between speculation and investment, ordinary people getting involved, the capitulation of shorts (everyone is long). There are so many signs.

I was very disappointed to see that Taibibi piece hit the front page regarding SPACs and how they are a bubble.

More companies are going public, and there are even some undervalued SPACs.

The key issue is overinflated asset prices, not SPACs.

yeah, whether we are in a bubble or not is a question of valuation, not specific instruments.

In what way do SPACs indicate we're in a bubble to you?

I don't disagree that we're in a bubble, but I don't understand much about SPACs and wonder what they indicate more precisely.

IMO SPACs as an alternative to IPO are good for founders. I don't think they are good for markets because they indicate that investors don't currently care what their money is invested in, they just expect the manager to provide huge returns with very little due diligence. In this market it feels impossible to lose and SPACs have exploded because everyone is willing to write a blank check.

The argument I usually hear is that SPACs = speculation.

Most of the time investors are investing based on a rumor, and on top of that they are investing before they have access to the company's fundamentals/disclosures available after companies go public.

Lots of speculative energy is often considered an indication of a market bubble.

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