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Fresh off of its $1 billion funding injection, Lucid Motors has announced a preliminary agreement with Electrify America. The electric-car startup plans for a network of fast chargers for future owners to take advantage of.

In the Tuesday announcement, Lucid said it plans to install or have over 2,000 DC fast charging stations under construction by June 2019. Electrify America will handle installation in 500 sites across metropolitan areas spanning 40 states and 17 major cities. Lucid’s decision to partner with Electrify America came after studying multiple companies.

Electrify America is a VW subsidiary set up following the aftermath of the German automaker’s diesel scandal. Electrify America will invest $2 billion in charging infrastructure across the United States over the next 10 years, as well as in electric car education. VW-operated Electrify America operates chargings stations with amenities such as shopping, food, and restrooms. Lucid said the amenities are exactly the type of experience it wants to give owners.

The electric-car company also said Electrify America’s current technology to charge at rates up to 350 kilowatts was also a contributing factor.

After months of struggles, Lucid finally landed on its feet after it secured $1 billion in funding from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. The fund’s goal is to expand and differentiate Saudi Arabia’s doing globally as it attempts to wean its economy off of simply oil exports. The money will help put the company’s first electric car, the Air sedan, into production sometime in 2020. The funds will also finance a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, and help finalize a retail strategy in North America.

[Source: AutoGuide.com]
 

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I hope the EA stations are more reliable, the ones I looked at appeared active. This is a whole new world, estimating charge times and detours to charge stations. I travel across Florida, or did before Covid, to visit friends about 6-8 times a year; so I did some calculations.

There are independent networks like ChargePoint that can be used as an alternative (you will have to pay of course), most are level 2, but when I was mapping my long distance route across Florida, I noticed a level 3/CS charger with 6 bays at the Fort Drum plaza on the Turnpike, perfect for my projected return trip with no detour. I plan at least 15 miles of reserve range.

EA has limited locations, the two most convenient on that cross-state route were 2-18 mile detours adding about 5 to 35 minutes to the commute, not including charging. Locations will become more convenient over time, but I would guess at least a year to add to my route, possibly longer. One reason the Audi E-tron GT was a no-go is the 225 or so mile range, because the EA detour adds enough extra miles (371 round-trip with no charging station detours) that even going one way would almost deplete the battery and add at least 1 hour of charging (the rate slows considerably above 80% capacity) to a total 7 hour trip. Now the Air with the estimated 89kWh battery using 20" wheels, a/c on, and driving at an average of 55mph (city/hwy), should yield about 360 miles of range and would only need a 40 mile boost on the way back (I am planning on installing a level 2 connection at home) using the ChargePoint bay; that would take about 15 minutes at 175kW/h.
 
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