Photo: Lucid Motors

The electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors has a strategy for drumming up interest in its upcoming Lucid Air luxury vehicle that begins production late this year: ultra-designed retail spaces that offer virtual reality test drives.

Why it matters: The luxury EV market is getting more crowded. Startups like Silicon Valley-based Lucid — a largely unknown brand in what's still a very small market — need a way to differentiate themselves and gain cachet.

The company announced Thursday a "direct-to-consumer" model with planned retail spaces that will "enable customers to experience the brand and its products in locations that underscore its unique design aesthetic."

  • Lucid is also one of several EV players eschewing the traditional dealership model of sales.
  • The company — which is staked with $1 billion from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund — plans to unveil the production version of the car and pricing next month in New York.

What's next: Lucid has one customer studio open in Silicon Valley and plans to open eight more this year in New York, Florida and California.

  • More service centers and studios are slated to open in 2021 in those states as well as Washington, D.C., Chicago and Europe, the company said.
  • The announcements yesterday also touched on other parts of its strategy, like having a fleet of mobile service vans to provide roadside assistance.

Go deeper: The bumpy transition toward electric vehicles

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.

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