Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has announced that it has executed a $1 billion investment agreement with Tesla rival Lucid Motors that will provide the funding needed to commercially launch Lucid’s first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, in 2020.
The investment will be made through a special-purpose vehicle wholly owned by PIF, which will allow Lucid to complete the engineering, development and testing of the Lucid Air at the company’s facility in Arizona before it enters production and begins in global rollout in North America.
”By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF if gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development and driving revenue and sectoral diversification in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” a PIF spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that “PIF’s international investment strategy aims to strengthen PIF’s performance as an active contributor in the international economy, an investor of the future and the partner of choice for strong international investment opportunities.”
“Our investment in Lucid is a strong example of these objectives,” the spokesperson noted.
The deal is likely to be seen as a blow to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who previously said that PIF could help him fund a $72 billion deal to take his electric car maker private.
In a statement, the PIF said it and Lucid are working together to make a luxury electric car company, and that the two will work closely with one another to bring products to market at a time of significant changes in the automotive industry.
“The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realised,” said Lucid chief technology officer Peter Rawlinson. “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.”
Over the last year, PIF has made a number of investments in renewables, utilities, recycling and energy efficiency services.
In October, for example, PIF announced that it was creating a national recycling company as part of its Saudi Vision 2030 plans.
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