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Saudi Arabia Invests in Electric Vehicle Startup Lucid Motors

Lucid hopes to have its commercial launch of the Lucid Air EVs in 2020.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) decided to invest more than $1 billion in Silicon Valley-based Lucid Motors, an electric vehicle startup that is taking aim at Tesla, the PIF announced Monday. Lucid Motors will be using the funding to help bring its first production electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, to market in 2020.

The deal with the Saudi PIF comes in the months following Elon Musk’s “Funding secured,” tweet. Musk believed that he would be able to work out a deal with the Saudi PIF to take Tesla private earlier this summer, however the two never came to an agreement.

The Saudi PIF said that its investment is more than $1 billion but declined to provide an exact figure according to an article by Reuters. The Fund aims to expand Saudi Arabia’s investment into green energy to diversify the Kingdom from its reliance on crude oil.  

“By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF is gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development and driving revenue and sectoral diversification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” a PIF representative told Reuters

“The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized,” said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s chief technology officer. “This is inhibiting the pace at which sustainable mobility and energy are adopted. At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward.”

The Saudi PIF will be providing the funding through a special-purpose vehicle of which they will maintain ownership. Lucid will use some of the funding to build a factory in Arizona for production of the Lucid Air. 

Lucid Motors isn’t the only electric vehicle manufacturer raising capital. however. Recently, Chinese electric car company, Nio, went public and raised over $1 billion during its initial public offering.