EV maker Lucid strikes deal to sell 100,000 cars to Saudi government

Agreement covers a 10-year period and will include the flagship Lucid Air and other future models

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Lucid Motors, the electric vehicle maker backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, signed an agreement with the kingdom's government for the sale of 100,000 cars that will support Riyadh's sustainability drive.

The deal with the kingdom's Ministry of Finance — which will include the flagship Lucid Air and other future models — covers a 10-year period and includes an initial commitment to purchase 50,000 vehicles, plus an option for up to 50,000 additional cars over the same period, the US-listed company said.

The move will also support the kingdom's Vision 2030 plan by providing thousands of highly-skilled job opportunities and economic benefits, Lucid said.

“Delivering up to 100,000 Lucid electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia represents another pivotal moment in our acceleration of sustainable transportation worldwide,” said Peter Rawlinson, chief executive and chief technology officer of Lucid.

“We are delighted to be supporting Saudi Arabia in achieving its sustainability goals and net zero ambitions, as outlined by Saudi Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, by bringing our advanced luxury EVs to Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's biggest economy, is in the midst of a large economic diversification drive under its Vision 2030 agenda. A key area of focus is to support the sustainable development goals of all economic sectors, with the country aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060 through a circular carbon economy approach.

A part of this strategy is the transition to greener means of transportation. The rapid growth of the kingdom's electric vehicle market even led Saudi to a top-50 spot for the first time in New York-based consultancy AlixPartners' latest Automotive Electrification Index, which was released this month.

Global sales of EVs, meanwhile, more than doubled to 6.6 million in 2021, said the International Energy Agency. Almost a million EVs a month will be added to the global fleet in the second half of 2022, BloombergNEF estimates showed.

Under the agreement, Lucid will deliver vehicles built and assembled at its Arizona factory and its international manufacturing centre that will be constructed in Saudi Arabia.

The order quantity is expected to range from 1,000 to 2,000 vehicles annually and increase to between 4,000 and 7,000 vehicles per year starting in 2025, with the delivery required to begin by the second quarter of 2023.

"The purchase price of the vehicles will be determined based on the lower of the standard retail price for the applicable vehicle in Saudi Arabia and the standard retail price for the applicable vehicle in the US," the company said.

Logistics and importation costs and other expenses for the delivery and approval of the vehicles to meet the regulations of the kingdom, will also be added to the price.

Lucid last month signed an agreement with the kingdom's Ministry of Investment, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and King Abdullah Economic City to begin construction on its first international manufacturing centre in Saudi Arabia during the first half of this year.

The National was the first to report last September about the company's plans to enter the Middle East market and set up a manufacturing plant in the kingdom.

Lucid Group was founded in 2007 under the name Atieva and was initially focused on building EV batteries. In 2016, it rebranded as Lucid Motors, moved away from being a supplier and started to develop a luxury sedan to rival Tesla.

In 2018, the PIF invested more than $1 billion in Lucid to acquire a substantial stake, helping it to accelerate its manufacturing plans.

Updated: April 27, 2022, 7:17 AM