Saudi wealth fund invests $1B in a little-known EV startup (AKA, not Tesla)

Saudi Public Investment Fund pours $1B into Lucid, an aspiring electric vehicle startup that dreams of competing with the likes of Tesla -- with this new funding, that dream could become a reality.


September 18, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund agreed to invest over $1B in Lucid Motors, an electric vehicle startup that one day hopes to compete with the likes of Tesla.

That is, once they actually make a product… or even a factory.

The Silicon Valley-based company is reportedly years behind schedule on  construction of its Arizona plant, and production on its flagship vehicle, the Lucid Air. 

Lucid hopes the cash infusion will help it finally complete those goals and “begin the global rollout of its retail strategy starting in North America.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is burning the midnight oil

Ever since crude oil prices began to plummet in 2014, Saudi Arabia, AKA the world’s chief oil exporter, has been exploring more “refined” options.

As part of the plan, SA is turning its Public Investment Fund into the world’s biggest sovereign fund, looking to control more than $2T by 2030.

In the past year, the country has announced plans to invest $45B into a technology fund (run by SoftBank), $20B into a US infrastructure fund, and finalized an $11B loan to complete its proposed $500B metropolis.

Their push into the EV market has been wild thus far

SA’s interest in the EV market came to the world’s attention when Elon Musk tweeted that he had “funding secured” from the Public Investment Fund  for his now-defunct plan to take Tesla private.

The PIF, which owns roughly a 5% stake in the EV juggernaut, was reportedly planning on making a “significant investment” in the effort, but ultimately pulled back after Musk’s tweets surfaced.

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