Saudi fund pumps $1B into Silicon Valley electric auto maker

Saudi wealth fund plunges $1bn into Tesla rival Lucid

Lucid Motors gets $1B from Saudi fund, pushes EV debut to 2020

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is investing more than $1bn (£760m) in electric vehicle company Lucid Motors, after plans to take Tesla private collapsed earlier this year.

Newark, California-based Lucid Motors had raised a total of $131 million in funding prior to the PIF's investment, according to Crunchbase.com.

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

The PIF already owns a almost 5 percent stake in Tesla, according to multiple reports.

The deal between PIF and Lucid adds to the uncertainty surrounding Tesla, whose Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted on August 7 that he'd secured funding to take the firm private.

"This investment in the electric vehicle sector, which is now witnessing rapid growth and expansion, is an added value to the Fund's portfolio which aims to achieve growing returns on the economy in the Kingdom", the PIF said.

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.




The Air was unveiled in late 2016 and in base trim is expected to offer 400 horsepower and 240 miles of range.

The PIF said on Monday its investment would finance the commercial launch of Lucid's first electric vehicle in 2020 by supporting engineering development and testing.

Tesla's shares fell 2.2 percent on news of PIF's investment in Lucid. But previous splashy market-moving promises by the kingdom's assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have yet to materialize.

For his part, Peter Rawlinson, Chief Technology Officer of Lucid, said "the convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized".

There are multiple reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the disclosure, including asking board members what they knew about Musk's plans.

Saudi Arabia's 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose father is King Salman, has talked about using the PIF to help diversify the economy of the kingdom, which relies nearly entirely on money made from its oil sales.

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