CASA GRANDE, AZ — It was a short ride from the assembly line to the press conference. It was all Governor Ducey needed in order to sell the Lucid Air Dream.
Governor Ducey stated that “they have a product that people will wait for,”
Lucid Motor turned a Casa Grande cotton farm into a one-million square foot production facility in less than two years. A 1,100 hp electric motor was needed to make the car. The car can travel 520 miles on a single charge. Over 13,000 cars have been ordered, some at a price as high as $169,000. Deliveries will begin at the beginning of each month. Lucid Motors director Daniel Witt said, “It’s not a traditional industry in the area, that is for sure.”
The history of Pinal County is in the dirt. Since the beginning, agriculture was the engine of the economy. Pinal County is now facing a third decade of drought and the creation an electric car that can be powerfully driven are changing its economic future. Witt stated that “This could be really transformative.”
The car factory was run by more than 1,000 workers. However, it is only phase one. “We want to build this to become the American equivalent of Stuttgart, Germany, where Daimler built the Mercedes brand,” Witt said, “and built that vehicle to be the best in the world from a quality standpoint.”
This means that the factory will be nearly tripled and there will be 6,000 employees. Lucid Motors has stated that it will complete this by the end the decade, according to the governor.
Lucid Motors will contribute $100 Million in state, county, and local tax revenue by 2030.
Pinal County’s manufacturing jobs are well-paid. Agriculture has been a part of the province’s fabric for a long time. Pinal is at the crossroads ready to embrace his future and fight for his past.
“When my son built his house here ten years ago, there was nothing to see. Nancy Caywood stated that this was “pristine”.
Solar parks are the ‘none’ Caywood refers too. Pinal County has been home to the Caywood family for over 90 years. Due to the increasing difficulty of accessing water, farmers are renting their land out to electricity cooperatives that install solar panels. Nancy Caywood’s farm will soon be surrounded with them. “You feel all kinds of emotions. You feel distraught, you feel hopeless, you feel angry, you feel sad,” Caywood said.
“At some point, farmland will shrink. I don’t know the exact level. It will be anything they match with water,” said Steve Miller, Pinal County Board Supervisor.
Miller has lived in Casa Grande since 1950. Miller and his Board of Supervisors consider diversifying the economy a top priority. Pinal County has a population that is nearly as large as Connecticut. It cannot rely on agriculture alone.
Miller views Lucid’s arrival in Pinal County as the beginning of an economic boom. Real estate values have risen as more companies associated with Lucid open shop in Pinal County. Miller stated that if Miller were to tell you that there were 20 supply chain companies connected to all this, it might be even short.
Pinal continues to see more people moving to Pinal, or as Chairman Miller suggests, returning to Pinal. Housing is a delicate topic in these times of drought. “All three of my children have left Casa Grande and all three of my children have moved back. Miller replied that she had not asked the children, which was shocking to me.
Farmers like Nancy Caywood are able to see the future as Casa Grande expands.