Saudi's PIF invests more than $1 billion in Lucid Motors

Saudi wealth fund plunges $1bn into Tesla rival Lucid

Based in Newark, California, Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 as Atieva by Bernard Tse, a former Tesla vice president and board member, and Sam Weng, a former executive at Oracle Corp. and Redback Networks.

The money is critical for Lucid Motors as their electric vehicle plans are already behind schedule.

The Financial Times newspaper previously reported that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, known by the acronym PIF, had secured a near 5-per cent stake in Tesla recently.

Tesla stock dropped briefly Monday in reaction to the news, the same day that the Saudi fund announced it had taken its first loan, an $11 billion borrowing from global banks as it tries to expand its investments.

The money provides Lucid with enough funding to commercially launch its first electric vehicle, the futuristic-looking Lucid Air by 2020, and underlines the fact the world's biggest oil producer sees the future is in renewables, and clean transport.

As for Lucid, it will use the much-needed funds to complete development of its first product, the Air, and get a factory up and running in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Like all high-end electric cars, the Lucid Air will be powerful, with 1,000 horsepower from its dual motors.

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

The all-electric Lucid Air will have a range of over 400 miles (640 kilometers). "Our investment in Lucid is a strong example of these objectives".

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".

Musk said in a blog post on August 13 he had "no question" that the Saudis would finance such a transaction following a July 31 meeting. Experts say regulators likely are investigating if Musk was truthful in the tweet about having the financing set for the deal.

The PIF said the deal would support the kingdom's Vision 2030 diversification plan, which includes commitments to sustainability and environmentally-friendly technology.

However, other business promises made by the crown prince have yet to come to fruition.

But analysts have offered far lower valuations for Aramco and multiple delays have struck the project since.

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