A serious Tesla rival has taken its second step in readying itself for launch of its first electric vehicle in two year’s time.

Start-up Lucid Motor’s proposal has impressed Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) which has announced that it has executed a $1 billion investment in the company.

The funds made available will be used to build the necessary infrastructure that will help launch of Lucid’s first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, in 2020,

According to market watchers, the investment will be made through a special-purpose vehicle wholly owned by PIF, which will allow Lucid to complete the engineering, development and testing of the Lucid Air at the company’s facility in Arizona before it enters production and begins in global rollout in North America.

”By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF if gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development and driving revenue and sectoral diversification in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” a PIF statement said.

The deal is interesting as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was looking to privatise his company was outclassed by Lucid. Musk was offering PIF a deal worth $72bn.

PIF said it would work with Lucid an help make it a luxury electric car company. “The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realised,” said Lucid chief technology officer Peter Rawlinson. “This is inhibiting the pace at which sustainable mobility and energy are adopted. At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward.”

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