After getting approval from the town’s Planning Board, Lucid Motors, an electric car manufacturer, is one step closer to starting in the old Sears structure at the Natick Mall. Lucid, which focuses on luxury electric automobiles, plans to operate in the mall in September. The Planning Board approved the company’s ambitions for a service center which will support Greater Boston during a meeting.
According to Lucid’s website, the California-based company is also bringing a studio to Boston’s Seaport District, which is expected to open in the 2nd quarter of 2022. Lucid, which was founded in 2007, began shipping the initial of its Lucid Air models in October, with prices having a range of about $77,400 to $139,000. Lucid boasts the vehicles’ “thoughtful craftsmanship,” and its website allows consumers to customize their car by selecting from a variety of horsepower and battery ranges, as well as interiors, rims, and extras.
Lucid will take most of the empty first floor at the former Sears, which shuttered in January 2019, according to Chris Regnier of Goulston & Storrs, who represented the mall, at an earlier Planning Board meeting on January 12. In June 2019, Dave & Buster’s took over a portion of the second level, followed by Level99 in June 2018.
For electric vehicle manufacturers, the mall has a track record: Tesla has had a showroom there for almost 10 years, later incorporating a sales department. Last October, Natick Town Meeting accepted a zoning modification to allow Lucid to open, as the district under which the mall is situated previously prohibited merchants from selling and servicing vehicles at the same time.
The new service center, according to Irene Lee, Lucid’s manager of real estate, would allow visitors to test-drive vehicles, learn more about the business and its vehicles, and customize their Lucid Air in an online (virtual) reality environment. “Our use is really different from a traditional repair center in that it’s a much cleaner usage — we don’t have a lot of fluids and we offer a much more contemporary experience for our consumers,” Lee said during the Planning Board hearing on January 12.
Lucid intends to have no more than 4 vehicles on-premise at the mall for purchase, test drives, or display, according to its plans. “We’re extremely excited that the town, as well as the community, are on board with the implementation of renewable energy,” Lee said. “We think we’ll be a terrific addition to this community.”