Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund is to invest a billion dollars in Lucid Motors, a Silicon Valley startup, which is motivated to compete with Tesla.
In September the Saudis signed an initial agreement for a cash contribution, nearly eight times the funds which Lucid managed to collect in 9 years. In 2020 the company is planning to start production of a luxurious electric car called Lucid Air.
The deal with the Saudi fund is of crucial importance to Lucid Motors’ future. Last year the company was trying to find private investors to finance preparation for serial production but its attempts failed. The Saudi contribution is likely to allow continuation of the work.
According to the agreement Lucid Motors will spend this money on completion of engineering work and testing of Lucid Air’s system. The firm is also planning to build a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, start production and retail sale.
This is not the first time Saudi Arabia invests in electromobility. State funds from this country are already big investors in Tesla. Several weeks ago Elon Musk informed that the Saudis had acquired nearly 5 per cent of shares in his company. Musk added that the Saudis tried to purchase the shares for nearly two years, which, in his opinion, is evidence for the investors’ great determination to enter the electric car business.
Lucid Air was first presented in Los Angeles Auto show in 2016. The company spent 2017 developing a prototype and releasing more and more interesting technical information about the car itself.
The basic version of Lucid Air is to cost about 60,000 USD.