Lucid’s sleek luxury sedans are frequently described as Tesla’s first real challenger in an electric vehicle market that’s set to take off in coming years.
So it’s only fitting that Lucid’s first studio in Texas would be in Plano’s Legacy West, the very same shopping center where Tesla operates a popular showroom. Lucid’s studio on Windrose Avenue opens Saturday, marking only the 32nd global location for the upstart brand.
Zak Edson, vice president of sales and service for Lucid, said the studio is “not your typical dealership location.” Most of Lucid’s studios are designed similarly to what shoppers will see in Plano.
“We like to put (studios) in places that people are already shopping, foot traffic,” Edson said. “That way they can have casual discovery. They don’t have to get in the car and drive to find us.”
Inside the studio, its walls are lined with a breakdown of the technology that goes into the sedans. Lucids can run anywhere from $87,400 to $249,000 for the newest models available in 2023.
“The technology is a very important part of the company and really part of the advancement of electric vehicles,” Edson said.
The California-based company develops all of the technology and manufactures it in house, Edson said. The studios thoroughly detail the thought process behind Lucid’s design concepts — everything from color to engine.
Lucid has even stepped into the world of virtual reality, with VR headsets that let buyers sit inside a vehicle to experience different interior and exterior color schemes. A Lucid employee helps you take your spot in a replica seat with a steering wheel and passenger seat.
A Lucid isn’t your average EV.
To start, the key automatically turns the car on and off upon entry and exit. In the front are custom headlights made of many tiny lenses that create focal points for drivers, rather than dispersing light. Edson said the design results in greater visibility without blinding other drivers on the road.
Right above those headlights is a “frunk,” the front trunk commonly found on EVs since the batteries go below the vehicle.
The Lucid Air Grand Touring, with up to 1,050 horsepower and a range of 516 miles, sets a new mileage standard for EVs. Compare that with the Tesla Model S, which can reach 1,020 horsepower and charges up to 396 miles.
The overall exterior of the car is wide, prompting Edson to compare it to a midsize luxury vehicle.
“We’ve miniaturized our powertrain components so we can place them more intelligently in the car and free up interior space and cargo space,” Edson said.
In the driver’s seat, there’s a digital screen right at the eyes of the driver for typical features like speed limit, clock, outside temperature and GPS navigation connected to your phone. There’s also a center console screen, similar in size to a standard iPad, that has more “luxury” features like a heated steering wheel and built-in massage chair with five settings for the driver and passenger.
Three driving modes are available in a Lucid. Smooth, the default ride, gives the longest range because it optimizes the use of the front and rear motors, Edson said. Swift mode gets “a little snappier,” unlocking more horsepower and stiffening the suspension. Sprint mode unleashes the car’s full potential.
Stepping inside a Lucid can transport a buyer to California. More specifically, Santa Cruz, Tahoe or Mojave. “That’s our home,” Edson said about the color schemes that Lucid uses.
Once all of its models are in full production, Edson said, it will take around three months for a car to arrive to the buyer. Like anything in manufacturing, there can be bumps in the road. Edson reached out to customers this summer to apologize when vehicles “got somewhat stuck in pre-delivery inspection due to a recall issue,” according to a company blog post.
Lucid has also created a connected home charging system that can be installed in a buyer’s home. Costing $1,200, it’s capable of producing 80 miles of charging per hour. It’s also bi-directional, meaning the car can power your home during an electricity outage. Lucids can also charge car-to-car.
Lucid Air models come with mobile charging cables that plug into typical household outlets used by washing machines that are capable of producing 40 miles of charging per hour.
Lucid considered charging needs when it looked at an expansion to Texas, Edson said. The company partnered with Electrify America, a charging station network with over 700 stations and 3,200 chargers across the country. Edson said most customers will charge at home, but the partnership gives customers more security for long car rides.
If customers reserve a Lucid Air by Dec. 31, they’ll receive a promotional period of complimentary access to Electrify America’s charging network.
It’s not a simple process to buy a Lucid or Tesla in Texas. State law upholds the dealership model of auto sales — meaning dealers are the authorized vehicle sellers, and manufacturers can’t sell to you directly.
Tesla and other EV makers have been lobbying the state legislature for some time to open up laws that prevent them from selling directly to consumers. The dealership lobby argues that its model creates more competition and helps keep costs down for the consumer.
As a result, Lucid consumers fill out paperwork online or at a company studio or showroom, and the vehicle is delivered to their home from another state. Lucids are made in Arizona, where the company opened its first factory.
Lucid Air models are in high demand, with over 34,000 reservations as of Nov. 7, potentially generating over $3.2 billion in sales, the company reported in its most recent quarterly results. Lucid said it’s on track for annual production of 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles.
Walkups to test drive are available at a limited capacity this weekend in Plano. Customers can also make appointments to see the studio and test drive.
The company doesn’t separate its sales data by geography, Edson said, but the Plano location is considered an important opening.
“Texas is the second-largest car market in the country,” Edson said. “It’s a very important market for us and really, for all automakers.”