Peter Rawlinson is the CEO of Lucid, and a former engineer at Tesla, who is said to be obsessed with beating his former boss Elon Musk in the EV game. The jury is still out on that, but, if a new interview is anything to go by, Rawlinson is already winning when it comes to who you might want to root for.
And who you would rather have as a boss. Rawlinson spoke with The New York Times, and described his management style like this:
Mr. Rawlinson, who comes across as good humored but intense and detail oriented, is self-effacing in a way that Mr. Musk is not. He says, for example, that he wants to hire people who are smarter than he is.
“If I’ve done my job right, I’ll be the dumbest guy left in the room and I can walk out and throw away the key and leave them to it,” Mr. Rawlinson said with a laugh.
Elon sees his job, meanwhile, as the exact opposite of that, which is probably why Tesla tends to churn through employees, and also why Rawlinson himself left.
The main reason he quit Tesla in 2012, Mr. Rawlinson said, was to care for his ailing mother in Wales. But he added that he had also felt mistreated by Mr. Musk. “I had a mom who needed me, and I had a boss who wasn’t treating me very well,” he said, declining to elaborate on the nature of the mistreatment.
Now, one can argue about which approach to take in treating your employees will be most successful, and Elon is currently the richest person in the world, so you’d have to say that his isn’t wrong. But you could also say that that isn’t the only thing that matters, and there’s something to be said for treating your employees like humans.
One of those is also a whole lot easier to root for, and maybe a big reason why there isn’t much angst over Lucid, in comparison to Tesla. Also, because Rawlinson’s ambitions are different.
In Mr. Rawlinson’s telling, the luxury cars are just a steppingstone to his ultimate goal: making battery-powered mobility accessible to everyone. Lucid is open to selling its technology to companies that can produce millions of vehicles at low cost.
“I’m not here to sell ultraluxury cars,” Mr. Rawlinson said. “I want to mass-industrialize electric cars.”
Elon would probably say that that is his mission, too, the key difference being that Elon wants to mass-industrialize Teslas, and Teslas only, and is in the middle of doing just that.
Anyway, consider Lucid if you’re in the market for an EV next year. The Air is a nice car with a shocking amount of interior room. Also, you won’t have to do much explaining, like if you buy a Tesla. The explanation for Lucid is that you bought a nice car from a company whose CEO doesn’t have a Twitter account.