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Electric car plant, 2,000 workers steering toward Casa Grande

A California company plans to build a new electric vehicle factory in Casa Grande and to begin selling luxury cars in 2018. The plant will bring "more than $700 million in capital investment to the region" along with thousands of jobs, officials said.

Lucid Motors, of Menlo Park, Calif. plans to compete with high-end car makers such as Mercedes, Audi and BMW. The assembly plant will have a capacity of 20,000 cars annually, with Lucid planning to be able to build 130,000 vehicles each year, the company said in June.

Casa Grande was chosen over more than 60 markets in 13 states because it had shovel-ready land with utilities in place. Pinal County and Casa Grande assembled 500 acres from five land owners, of which 80 acres still needs to be annexed.

Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson and Pinal County Board of Supervisors Chairman Todd House were set to hold a press conference to detail local official's plans to work with the company later Tuesday afternoon. Gov. Doug Ducey held a midday press conference with Lucid representatives.

The company's plans are the "latest evidence that Arizona leads the nation in attracting innovative technology companies," Ducey said.

About 400 people will be hired in 2017 and trained in conjunction with Central Arizona College and other colleges in Maricopa and Pina Counties. Site development is scheduled for the second quarter of 2017, while car manufacturing will begin by the end of 2018, a news release from Ducey's office said.

In addition to creating jobs in Pinal County, the plant will work with suppliers across the border, Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich said.

"This major investment will generate a steady stream of career opportunities and capital for the Arizona-Sonora Megaregion," said the Mexican official.

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By 2022, the company's plant should prompt more than $700 million in capital investment in the region, Ducey's office said. The facility "will bring over 2,000 projected new jobs," the news release said.

"We are confident Arizona is the ideal location to advance our innovations and will continue to provide an excellent platform for our success," said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid's chief technology officer.

"Lucid Motors is a huge win for us” said Casa Grande Mayor Jackson. "This strategic investment ... continues to demonstrate the many attributes that define Casa Grande as a promising area for long-term growth and success in economic development."

The plan "is the latest in a string of exciting economic development wins this year in Pinal County," Supervisor House said.

The plant will be at Peters and Thorton Roads in an industrial complex near Interstates 8 and 10.

The Verge, a technology science online site, said Lucid is among the latest California companies attempting to compete with Tesla. In fact, Lucid's chief technology officer, Peter Rawlinson, is a former lead engineer for the Tesla Model S. Lucid plans a car that will make 1,000 horsepower and race from 0 to 60 seconds miles per hour in less than three seconds.

And Forbes said the all-aluminum mid-sized sedan will have a range of 400 miles on a battery charge. 

Lucid was founded as a battery company called Atieva in 2007 and changed its name in October.

Lucid's Web site says, "We set out to create a car that elevates the human experience and transcends the perceived limitations of space, performance and intelligent. A car that is intuitive, liberating and designed for all the ways people get around."

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Gov. Doug Ducey and Lucid representatives announce the electric car company's plan to open a Casa Grande factory.

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