A hotshot electric vehicle company in Silicon Valley just got a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The luxury electric vehicle brand announced the cash infusion this week, saying it would use the funding to move forward with its Tesla Model S “killer,” the Lucid Air, expected to launch in 2020, and to build out its factory in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Sounds reminiscent of Tesla? It’s because it is. After Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about securing funding to take the company private last month, it was revealed that Saudi Arabia had bought 5 percent of the publicly traded company, or invested almost $2 billion. A deal was nearly struck with the Saudi fund to buy out Tesla from the public market. But that didn’t happen.
Tesla and Musk have been running into issues, in particular, production problems with the more affordably priced Model 3 sedan. Saudi Arabia seems intent to be on the cutting-edge of electric vehicles, no matter where it takes them.
Lucid’s been around for a decade, and the Lucid Air debuted at the Los Angeles auto show almost two years ago. The prototype vehicle features a powerful battery, high-tech features, a glass canopy, and an autonomous-capable design. Even former Tesla employees have moved over to Lucid.
Now Saudi Arabia is giving the notably private company almost as much as it invested in Tesla. Is there enough space on the road for the two EVs? Lucid, unlike Tesla, has yet to put anything in customers’ garages. But that $1 billion will certainly help.