Economy

Lucid Motors gets $1B from Saudi fund, pushes EV debut to 2020

Lucid Motors gets $1B from Saudi fund, pushes EV debut to 2020”

Lucid Motors today announced that it has agreed to accept a $1 billion investment from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia.

Based in Newark, California, Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 as Atieva by Bernard Tse, a former Tesla vice president and board member, and Sam Weng, a former executive at Oracle Corp. and Redback Networks. Lucid and PIF are strongly aligned around the vision to create a global luxury electric vehicle company.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously touted conversations with the Saudi fund as key in considerations to take Tesla private. Musk indicated that Saudi Arabia would invest in Tesla if it went private, although the PIF did not comment on the possibility.

Lucid is depending on the Saudi money to help realize its goal of delivering its first vehicle, the Lucid Air, in 2020.

The funding, which will be made through a special-purpose vehicle wholly owned by PIF, will be used by Lucid to complete development and testing of the Lucid Air, construct a factory in Arizona and start up production of the auto. "At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric-connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward", he said.

Saudi man walks through the Tadawul Saudi Stock Exchange in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund invested over $1 billion on Monday Sept. 17 2018 in an American electric car manufact

The Lucid investment, which PIF said is more than $1 billion but did not give an exact figure, is also part of Saudi Arabia's plan to build an environmentally friendly economy, to diversify the kingdom away from reliance on crude oil.

Lucid issued a statement quoting Peter Rawlinson, its chief technology officer, welcoming the investment. But previous splashy market-moving promises by the kingdom's assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have yet to materialize.

The all-electric Lucid Air will have a range of over 400 miles (640 kilometers). The chatter died down after Musk announced on August 24 said Tesla would remain publicly traded. The $11 billion loan allows it to make further investments without divesting from its other holdings.

But analysts have offered far lower valuations for Aramco and multiple delays have struck the project since.



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