Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Saudi's PIF confirms $1bn investment in Tesla rival Lucid

Saudi's PIF confirms $1bn investment in Tesla rival Lucid

Electric vehicle startups seem to appear every few months, but Lucid Motors now has some serious backing as Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has agreed to invest $1 billion (£759.7 / €855.5 million) into the company.

Founded in 2007 by former Tesla vice president and board member Bernard Tse and partner Sam Weng as Atieva Motors, Lucid started by building batteries for electric buses, cars, and motorcycles.

The money is critical for Lucid Motors as their electric vehicle plans are already behind schedule. Musk indicated that Saudi Arabia would invest in Tesla if it went private, although the PIF did not comment on the possibility.

The fledgling automaker will use this investment to finish the development and testing of its first vehicle, the Air, in addition to constructing Lucid's upcoming factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. "At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward". "Our investment in Lucid is a strong example of these objectives".

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks at the opening ceremony of Future Investment Initiative Conference in this Oct 24, 2017 photo.

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
Saudi fund invests $1B in Tesla electric car rival Lucid Motors

The all-electric Lucid Air will have a range of over 400 miles (640 kilometers).

Peter Rawlinson, chief technology officer at Lucid, said in a statement, "The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized". The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating Musk's disclosure on Twitter.

On Monday, Tesla stock fell as much as 2 per cent before rebounding to close at $294.84, down by just 36 cents. The $11 billion loan allows it to make further investments without divesting from its other holdings.

The PIF said the deal would support the kingdom's Vision 2030 diversification plan, which includes commitments to sustainability and environmentally-friendly technology. In August, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom "committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco at a time of its own choosing when conditions are optimum".

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