Electric car maker Lucid will offer customers high-speed charging with Volkswagen across US in another jab at Tesla

Key Points
  • Volkswagen-funded project Electrify America is building a 500-site high-speed electric vehicle charging network across 40 states and 17 major U.S. cities.
  • Lucid will offer services on that network for its customers.
  • Lucid plans to put its first electric vehicle into production in 2020 and is aiming at the high-end of the market dominated in the U.S. by Tesla.
The Lucid Air Alpha test car, displayed at the New York Auto Show, reached a software-limited 217 miles per hour on a text track in Ohio.
Robert Ferris | CNBC

Luxury electric car maker Lucid plans to offer customers high-speed charging services for electric cars across the United States on a charging network funded by Volkswagen, the companies said Tuesday.

According to the deal, VW subsidiary Electrify America will create a charging subscription plan for Lucid on Electrify America's planned network of 500 charging sites, all of which it expects to have built or under construction by July 2019.

The deal gives Lucid another leg up against Tesla and signals increasing competition in the luxury electric car segment.

Lucid, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, plans to start producing its own upscale electric sedan in 2020.

The company recently upped the ante in the race to catch Tesla after receiving $1 billion investment from the Saudi government's Public Investment Fund. The company's chief technology officer is Peter Rawlings, who was former Tesla's chief engineer, and who worked on the team that developed the Model S sedan.

The interior of a Lucid Air on display at the New York Auto Show on April 13, 2017.
Robert Ferris | CNBC

Legacy automakers such as Jaguar and Volkswagen subsidiary Audi have recently debuted their own high-end electric cars designed to take a piece of the market where Tesla is the most recognizable brand. Tesla has built 1,344 high-speed Supercharger stations around the world.

Volkswagen started the Electrify America program as part of its settlement with the U.S. from its diesel emissions scandal, after it was discovered the automaker used devices to cheat diesel emissions tests. The company agreed to spend $2 billion in the U.S. to promote electric vehicle technology.

Correction: Electrify America will offer Lucid customers high-speed electric vehicle charging services on a network of chargers it is building. An earlier version misstated the terms of the deal.