A few months ago, the American startup Lucid presented its first model, the ambitious Air. This vehicle has captured the international press’s attention thanks to its long-range and its outstanding performance. Manufacturing will begin this year in Casa Blanca, Arizona.
However, Lucid is also studying the possibility of opening a factory in Saudi Arabia, a country whose sovereign investment fund injected a whopping $1 billion into the young startup in 2018. This contribution was vital for the project to succeed since Lucid at that time did not have the necessary cash to build its plant in the United States.
This investment depended on Lucid also creating an electric car manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia. “Lucid raised more than $1 billion in 2018, an investment that was conditional on the company creating a plant in Saudi Arabia,” says the report published by Bloomberg.
“Lucid is in talks with the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia to build an electric vehicle factory near the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea.” However, Lucid is also considering other locations, so these plans are not yet final, although one thing is for sure. Sooner or later, the company will have to settle in Saudi Arabia.
At the moment, the capacity of the second Lucid factory is unknown. The Arizona plant should produce a maximum of 400,000 vehicles a year, so it would not be surprising if the Saudi facilities were around the same number. It is also unknown whether Lucid’s next model after the Air, the Gravity SUV, will be made in the United States or Saudi Arabia.
This strategic agreement is just one more step in the ambitious economic diversification strategy of Saudi Arabia, which today continues to depend heavily on oil exports. Like other ‘black gold’ producing countries, the Saudi authorities are aware that a revolution is coming in the energy and transport sectors and have started to act accordingly, investing in renewable energy and electric mobility.