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2 New Electric Vehicle Makers Target Silicon Valley Car Market

SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) -- There's a new brand in town, and it is pure electric and pure performance.

Newark-based Lucid Motors just debuted what it calls the world's most powerful and efficient luxury electric sedan at Westfield Valley Fair.

"We're looking in the luxury segment...and the primary competitors in the segment are Mercedes and Audi and BMW and companies like that," said Senior Director of Retail Operations Zak Edson. "Yes, we have an electric vehicle but that's not the only attribute that customers care about."

Lucid's top-of-the-line Dream Edition is packed with 1080 horsepower and more than 500 miles of driving range. It costs $169,000 and goes into production next spring.

Reservations for the waitlist can be made now for $300. The least expensive version of the Lucid Air, which will be available in 2022, costs $69,900.

Right now customers can also compare different options and interiors with its VR experience at its Valley Fair studio.

"I think the car itself attracted me more than anything else," said shopper Vharat Chaudheri. "The car looks much better than the Model S, the range is pretty good."

Lucid also recently opened a studio at Westfield Century City. The California locations are 2 of 20 to open throughout North America by the end of next year. Other locations will include Miami, West Palm Beach, New York City, Boston, and D.C.

Another brand turning heads in the Bay Area is Volvo's electric performance brand Polestar. The company delivered its first all-electric Polestar 2 cars in the U.S. this week. They're priced at $59,900, and the Bay Area is Polestar's top market.

The Polestar 2 boasts two electric motors with a 78 kWh battery capacity and a target range of 291 miles between charges.

"Anybody who's looking to go electric and not spend $100,000 -- some huge price tag to go that way -- and also someone who really wants that kind of convenience, appreciates good, clean minimalist design," said Polestar Cars spokesperson John Paolo Canton of the brand's customers.

It's also the first car in the world to feature a built-in infotainment system powered by Android, featuring voice command by Google Assistant and Google Maps.

Starting next week, Polestar will also open a retail space at Valley Fair Mall. A grand opening at the Village in Corte Madera will follow in December.

"It's definitely very interesting times for the EV business, it's blowing up in a lot of ways and there are a lot more choices on the market than there were even just 6 months ago, which is very exciting for consumers." said CNET's Roadshow editor in chief Tim Stevens.

Stevens says the debuts are ideal for Lucid and Polestar, since Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all new cars sold in California will be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

Both brands also qualify for state and federal tax credits that can total up to nearly $10,000.

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