NIO vs Lucid: Which Electric Vehicle Company Is Best?

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NIO vs Lucid: Which Electric Vehicle Company Is Best?

While Tesla is undoubtedly one of the popular brands in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, some other up-and-comers are hot on its heels. NIO and Lucid are but two examples of EV manufacturers newly on the rise in recent years. With that being said, how do NIO and Lucid compare to one another? When comparing NIO vs Lucid, who comes out on top?

Let’s compare and contrast the two, making sure to weigh their respective pros and cons as EV manufacturers. We’ll start with a full comparison between the two, then place them side by side to better clarify their similarities and differences. After that, we’ll go over some facts and the history of the two. From there, we’ll examine their pros and cons and determine which brand is superior.

Side by Side Comparison of NIO vs Lucid

Lucid Air
Unveiled in 2016, Lucid Air has an estimated EPA range of 520 mi.
FoundedNovember 20142007
HeadquartersShanghai, ChinaNewark, California, USA
Key FiguresLihong Qin (President); Wei Feng (CFO)Peter Rawlinson
(CEO, CTO); Andrew Liveris
Founder(s)William LiBernard Tse, Sam Weng, Sheaupyng Lin
Number of EVs71
EV Model NamesEP9, ES7, ET5, ET7, EC6, ES8, ES6Lucid Air

5 Key Points and Must-Know Facts About NIO and Lucid

  • Instead of your traditional EV charging stations, NIO relies on battery-swap stations. It’s an idea Tesla experimented with in the early years but never saw to fruition.
  • Lucid originally built EV batteries and powertrains under the name Atieva. They didn’t become Lucid until 2016.
  • Interestingly enough, Lucid is is majorly owned by Saudi Arabia’s investment fund.
  • Both NIO and Lucid are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The two EV stocks are great investment alternatives to Tesla stock (which tends to go haywire whenever Elon Musk gets up to his usual antics).
  • NIO has recently expressed interest in entering the smartphone market. They’re currently in the process of staffing their new smartphone division.

NIO vs Lucid: Key Differences

NIO has a rapidly growing network of power swap stations.


NIO is based overseas and headquartered in China. The company sells EVs throughout Asia and Europe, with plans to eventually expand to America. Lucid, on the other hand, is based and sold entirely in America. That’s not all that separates the two EV manufacturers, either.

Number of EVs

Since its founding in 2014, NIO has released seven different EVs to the market. These include the EP9, the ES7, the ET5, the ET7, the EC6, the ES8, and the ES6. While they all sound quite similar, they run the gamut from sedan to SUV and everything in between. Conversely, Lucid has only brought one EV to market since its founding in 2007. That would be the Lucid Air. To be fair, Lucid spent its early years working on batteries and powertrains for EVs. The company didn’t begin developing cars of its own until 2016.

Target Market

Another departure point between NIO and Lucid is their target customers. NIO focuses more on cars for everyday use; sedans, SUVs, compacts, and the like. The Lucid Air, on the other hand, is predominantly a luxury brand. In other words, NIO is for work, while Lucid is for play.

How much is Nio stock

Dark blue Nio EP9 super car on display with gull wing doors open at the Shanghai Super Classic car show.

The History of NIO

NIO’s official brand launch took place in 2016 in London. The company simultaneously made itself known as a new contender in the EV industry and debuted its EP9 sports car. It was a real two-hander and one that made quite the impression on consumers and investors alike. After this remarkable debut, several companies such as Lenovo and Tencent quickly invested money into the brand.

NIO’s next major innovation came with the opening of a first battery swap station in 2018. Named the Power Swap Station, this new technology eliminated the need for NIO’s EVs to stop and charge at a charging station. Instead, NIO EVs could simply have their batteries swapped out for fully-charged ones. All in all, it’s just another captivatingly unique facet of the NIO brand. Still, despite the incredible innovation coming out of NIO, they struggled to sell as many EVs as they’d hoped.

In 2020, the company raised an additional billion dollars from various investors to recover its losses from disappointing sales in the late 2010s. This allowed NIO to expand beyond China and into Europe, where sales could pick up significantly. Pair this with their formation of Battery as a Service (BaaS) in collaboration with Tesla battery manufacturer CATL, and it was clear to see that NIO’s profits were finally starting to make a turn for the better. Today, NIO is a billion-dollar brand name with assets totaling nearly $50 billion. But what about NIO vs Lucid?

NIO has no shortage of EVs on the market — they’ve released more than half a dozen so far with plans for more coming soon.NIO is only available in Asia and Europe, with no immediate plans to arrive in the States.
NIO battery swap program sets the brand apart from the EV competition.NIO’s stock is overvalued, raising questions about its ability to maintain its recent growth over time.
Electric car with the power cable supply plugged at a charging station

When fully charged, the Lucid can travel 130 miles more than the Polestar.

Lucid’s Rise to Fame

Despite having fewer EVs to their name, Lucid’s history dates back much further than NIO’s. That means the NIO vs Lucid showdown began back in 2007 with the founding of Lucid. Their rise to fame has been slower, to be sure, but we all know the story about the tortoise and the hare, don’t we?

Originally operating under the name Atieva, Lucid spent much of its early years in the late 2000s and early-to-mid 2010s working as a battery and powertrain manufacturer. They specialized in EVs, and it was a successful operation for them. They began work on an EV of their own in 2016 and rebranded to Lucid Motors, thus marking a new age for their company.

It took several years and just as many delays, but Lucid Motors finally had cars rolling off their assembly line by September of 2021. They only have the Lucid Air, a luxury vehicle comparable to the Tesla Model S. However, Lucid and industry experts alike have spoken highly of the company’s upcoming SUV. Dubbed Project Gravity, the SUV is expected to debut in 2023. Lucid also hopes to have a model that can compete with the Tesla Model 3 by 2025 at the latest.

The Lucid Air is a rock-solid EV, offering up to 520 miles off of one charge. Slow to get more models on the market
Lucid Air relies on 2170 battery cells — the same kind of cells that many Tesla models have relied on for years now.$100,000 price tag is way out of reach for many consumers.
Promising brand in the luxury EV market Several technological issues have plagued the Lucid Air in recent months.

NIO vs Lucid: Which EV Is the Better Brand?

When all is said and done, NIO and Lucid are on the verge of becoming the next big EV manufacturer. However, there are still several hangups that currently hold these two EV companies back from reaching their full potential. For today’s startups, it’s not enough to have the support of investors and experts alike. You also have to have the sales figures to back it up. With NIO vs Lucid, it’s clear both are struggling to prove which will start its upward ascent first. For now, both companies are just trying their best to stay afloat.

Setting aside finances, which of these two EV brands is truly superior? Judging by NIO’s more expansive catalog, wider global reach, and more definite plans for future models, it only seems fair to give them the upper hand here. There’s no doubt that Lucid Air is a stupendous electric vehicle, but Lucid has been far too slow to get the ball rolling to come out on top. NIO takes the cake for now, but that’s not to say that Lucid couldn’t eventually turn things around as they continue to grow.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Lucid Air available for purchase in the US?

The Lucid Air is available for purchase in America, and production is only expected to increase in the coming months.

Are NIO EVs for sale in America?

As of this writing, NIO’s expansive line of EVs are not available for purchase in the US. Presently, they’re only available in Europe and Asia.

Who has more EVs on the market, NIO or Lucid?

As of 2022, NIO has seven times as many EVs on the market as Lucid. In other words, NIO has seven while Lucid has one.

Who was founded first, NIO or Lucid?

Technically, Lucid predates NIO by seven years. However, Lucid did not begin making EVs until 2016 — two years after NIO was founded.

Who owns Lucid Motors?

The majority of Lucid Motors is owned by the Public Investment Fund.

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