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Michigan gives Lucid $6M for Southfield EV hub

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(The Center Square) – Michigan taxpayers will give electric vehicle maker Lucid $6 million for an engineering hub in Southfield.

Based in California, the American original equipment manufacturer will receive $222,222 for each of its 27 Michigan employees.

The Lucid Air won MotorTrend Car of the Year in 2021, and the luxury SUV Gravity is scheduled for production in late 2024.

Lucid says the project will create 262 jobs over three years with a $6 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

Lucid wants an additional 50-75,000 square feet of commercial, high-bay and laboratory space to house 200 engineers.

President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership Maureen Donohue Krauss welcomed the subsidy.

“The technology in the latest EV is mind-blowing, and Lucid is really pushing the innovation envelope with the Gravity,” Krauss said in a statement. “This is exactly the kind of company we want to add to our automotive and mobility sector. As they innovate, they will grow, expand their footprint, create more jobs, and attract other innovators; strengthening our position as the Global Epicenter of Mobility.”

John Mozena, president of the Center for Economic Accountability, a nonprofit organization for transparent economic development policy, told The Center Square that Michigan’s economic development team still hasn‘t learned that Michigan “can’t magically create prosperity by subsidizing the automotive industry.”

The subsidy follows auto execs saying that Chinese EV companies could “demolish” US EV production. An Alliance for American Manufacturing report says that without tariffs, Chinese competition will cause an “extinction-level event.”

“The big concern in Lansing right now is that Michigan is stagnating, falling behind other regions in the country and even other states in the Midwest,” Mozena wrote in an email. “The state’s elected officials, bureaucrats and so-called ‘business leaders’ are floundering around, trying to find something, anything that can change the state’s trajectory – but they’re not willing to try the simplest thing, which is to stop wasting money on useless corporate welfare programs.”

The federal government offers a $7,500 EV subsidy and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pitched a $2,500 subsidy for union-made EVs. Still, Michigan has fallen short 1.9 million of its 2030 climate goal of 2 million EVs, mostly because of range anxiety, a sparse charging network, and a higher upfront cost.

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