Tysons, VA

Lucid Motors, an American luxury electric vehicle company, is looking to open a store and service center in Tysons Galleria.

The company has filed plans with Fairfax County for a store, vehicle service, and delivery center in the lower level of the former Macy’s building. The filing comes less than a year after Lucid announced it would open a studio in Tysons Corner Center.

Tesla’s major rival is eyeing 27,642 square feet in the northern portion of the vacated Macy’s site. It envisions a glassy, contemporary showroom with the delivery and service center tucked away so it would not be visible from public streets.

“This will be the first service and delivery center for Lucid in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area,” Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh P.C. attorney Elizabeth Baker said in the filing. “The proposed use will bring a new exciting business to the Tysons area and help diversify uses in Tysons Galleria.”

In establishing two Tysons locations, Lucid follows a path forged by Tesla, Washington Business Journal reported. Tesla currently has a store at Tysons Corner Center and a showroom at 8500 Tyco Road.

Lucid Motors’ Tysons Galleria location will include a “store” with a few display cars and a vehicle service area. Customers can configure their cars and “experience a new Lucid vehicle virtually as well as in person,” according to Baker.

Cars will come to the location wrapped in a protective film that will be removed onsite, where the vehicles can be detailed and configured to customers’ desires. The nearby parking garage will store up to 40 vehicles.

Last September, the company unveiled its flagship “post-luxury” vehicle, Lucid Air, advertising it as tailored to “progressive buyers” who value sustainability, design, and technical innovation as much as quality and craftsmanship.

Baker said that servicing electric vehicles will be possible in the former Macy’s store because the process is “dramatically different from typical combustion-engine maintenance and service.”

“There is no vehicle exhaust and the amount of hazardous materials used in EVs and their service is substantially reduced by comparison,” she said.

Since Macy’s closed in 2018, the applicant has been renovating and re-tenanting the Macy’s building, Baker said.

“The former Macy’s building has been thoughtfully redesigned to incorporate the new business within the existing building with minimal impact, and will complement other existing and future businesses,” she said.

Public hearings on Lucid Motors’ special exception request are tentatively set to take place before the Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors this fall.

Photos courtesy Fairfax County

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Dominion Energy plans to have new electric vehicle charging stations up and running in Northern Virginia this year, joining five other utility providers to create an interstate charging network that could extend from D.C. to western Texas.

The provider announced last week that it is partnering with American Electric Power, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority to form the Electric Highway Coalition, which will provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure along major highways within their service territories.

About 18 million EVs could be on U.S. roads by 2030, according to estimates from The Edison Electric Institute. But while charging options becoming more plentiful to support everyday travel, anxiety remains among drivers about how to tackle long-distance road trips.

Dominion wants to enable electric long-distance travel for customers and its company fleet on major interstates and other well-traveled roadways, spokesperson Peggy Fox said. The charging stations will be capable of getting drivers back on the road in approximately 20-30 minutes.

“For example, in Virginia, we want to enable EV drivers to travel from the mountains to the beach or from the nation’s capital to the Virginia coast,” she said.

New stations in Fairfax County could be along I-66, I-95 and 495, and other well-traveled roads, she added. The stations will be about 100 miles apart or less, but exact locations and a concrete timeline have yet to be established.

“The partner utilities have started discussions to collaborate on site locations, site partners, design, and equipment,” Fox said.

Dominion will be coordinating with the other utility partners to provide sufficient charging capacity while using existing infrastructure and avoiding duplication, she said. The utility company plans to have a minimum of two charging stations at each location.

It has also been working with the state and locally with Fairfax County government to electrify transit. It rolled out electric school buses in January, and in October, it debuted a self-driving shuttle that runs between Dunn Loring Metro Station and Mosaic District.

Del. Mark Keam (D-35th), who represents part of Tysons and has supported many environment-focused bills, said he welcomes Dominion’s new partnership as a “good news story,” but the General Assembly approved a number of bills in its recent legislative session to indicate the state government is serious about electrifying transit, too.

“No company is going to go do things on their own, without knowing what the state will do as a partner,” Keam said. “Us providing that level of priority allows Dominion to say, ‘OK, here’s what we will do.'”

Virginia will join a dozen other states that have adopted clean car standards requiring low- and zero-emission vehicles to be available, he said. It will also be providing a “small but still meaningful rebate” for those looking to buy one.

Keam says Dominion’s plans could work in tandem with approved bills supporting the expansion of charging infrastructure. Legislators also requested a statewide study of transit equity, and Keam successfully introduced a bill to establish a state electric school bus fund.

“We’ve really put Virginia on the map,” he said.

Still, Keam added that Dominion’s role in electrifying transit should be an ongoing discussion. It owns substantial infrastructure and supplies much of Virginia’s power, so the utility needs to be included, but state lawmakers have been unable to agree on a regulatory approach.

“We have to look at all of this with clear eyes,” he said.

Image via Dominion Energy

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Electrify America has its sights set on the Town of Vienna as it embarks on ambitious plans to expand its national network of electric vehicle charging stations.

Specifically, the Reston-based subsidiary of Volkswagen would like to install a station with three or four chargers in the parking lot next to the Sunoco gas station at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Center Street.

After meeting with town staff on Sept. 4, Electrify America representatives presented the proposal to the Vienna Town Council during its conference session last night (Monday).

“We think it’s a good location, because while people are charging, they can walk to different shops,” Electrify America Mid-Atlantic Project Manager Ian Hostetler told the council. “We just think it’s a great amenity that would benefit the town and its citizens, and we’re hopeful we can make this work.”

Electrify America currently operates more than 2,000 electric vehicle chargers at 556 different sites in the U.S., including one in the parking garage of the Tysons West shopping center off of Route 7.

The company announced in August that it is working with Tysons Corner Center to bring a station to the mall sometime early this year as part of its plans to add 800 sites by the end of 2021.

This is not the first time that Electrify America has pursued projects in the Town of Vienna, which got its first electric vehicle chargers last year when Wawa opened with a Tesla station.

According to Hostetler, the company had a deal to bring electric vehicle chargers to the Bank of America lot at 235 Maple Avenue, but the town determined that, as an automobile service station, the utility is not permitted by the site’s “special commercial” zoning. A separate plan for chargers at Maple Avenue Shopping Center stalled when negotiations with property owner Washington Realty reached an impasse.

The parking lot now being eyed by Electrify America is owned by the Town of Vienna, but the company would have to clear a few hurdles to turn its pitch into a reality. Read More

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