Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has agreed to invest more than $1bn in Lucid Motors, a rival to Tesla.
The funding will enable Silicon Valley-based Lucid to achieve the commercial launch of its Lucid Air electric vehicle in 2020, PIF said in the announcement.
The Lucid investment is also part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to build an environmentally friendly economy, to diversify the kingdom away from reliance on crude oil.
“They’re not just a financial partner they’re a strategic partner,” Lucid Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson told Reuters, adding: “It’s all the capital we need for three things: to continue the development of the car, to construct the factory in Arizona, and to initiate the rollout of our global retail strategy and that will commence in the U.S. because that’s our first market.”
The company might plan to sell into China or build SUVs at a later date, Rawlinson said.
In August, Tesla boss Elon Musk had said the Saudi sovereign wealth fund could help him to take his company private.