Lucid Motors Corporation is in negotiations with the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia to develop an electric vehicle plant, probably near the Red Sea town of Jeddah. For California-based Lucid, the move will mark a major expansion. As it broadens its economy from crude, Saudi Arabia is attempting to be a Middle Eastern center for producing EVs. A $360 billion Public Investment Fund, now a participant in Lucid, would offer the King Abdullah Economic City center with most of the capital. Initiatives are advanced, but the individuals said they could adjust. ‘Neom,’ the new city being built in northwest of Saudi Arabia, was also considered by PIF as well as Lucid as a potential location for the plant.

Lucid is one of the U.S. corporations looking to take over Tesla Corporation from Elon Musk. The startup is trying to target the premium end of the Electric Vehicle market. Its Chief Executive Officer, Peter Rawlinson, served as chief engineer of Tesla on the Model S sedan. In 2018, Lucid received over $1 billion from PIF, an investment conditional on the organization building a location in Saudi Arabia. Around 97 km north of Jeddah, the nation’s second-largest city, is King Abdullah Economic City.

Lucid has also announced proposals for the Air; the $169,000 sedan it claims is capable of being powered on a single charge for over 805 kilometers. In the Arizona desert, it has also developed a factory, and shipments of the Model to United States customers are scheduled to commence in the second quarter. In 2022, Lucid aims to manufacture a $75,000 cheaper model of its sedan that will be able to drive over 400 miles on a single charge and gradually create SUVs.

Over the next several years, the PIF is expected to play a vital role in Saudi construction projects. The government tries to slash spending and hold the budget shortfall in check after the coronavirus-induced oil route. The fund’s governor, Yasir Al Rumayyan, said it would invest a minimum of $40 billion locally this year as well as in 2022. It was a sleepy institution with fewer than 100 staff just 5 years ago. As per Al Rumayyan, it currently has 1,000 workers and plans to increase its reserves to over $2.5 trillion. Until selling close to all its shares in the early 2020, the PIF also made an investment in Tesla.

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