Lucid Motors factory in Saudi Arabia to make 5,000 EVs a year

It’s well known that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is very, very rich, thanks to having an abundance of oil under its territory. Citizens pay no personal income tax, get free education as far as they want to go, enjoy free healthcare and of course, very cheap petrol.

However, the Saudis know that the oil money cannot last forever, though estimates of how long the reserves will last keep being recalculated. But definitely, the oil which comes from dead dinosaurs and plants that died millions of years ago has been diminishing over the past decades.

Saudi Arabia
The abundance of oil reserves has made Saudi Arabia enormously wealthy since the 1970s but the government realises that the oil money won’t last forever, so it is diversifying its economy as well as taking actions to prevent climate change.

Saudi Green Iniative
Therefore, the KSA now has a strategic goal to diversify its economy and to revamp the country’s economic model towards a knowledge-driven economy. At the same time, there are also sustainability efforts in the country to rapidly scale up the Kingdom’s climate action. Like other countries, there is also the goal of reducing carbon emissions as the Saudi Green Initiative.

One of the goals set in the ambitious environmental policy is to have 30% of new car sales in the KSA to be electric vehicles by 2030. Since the 1970s, when oil money flooded in, motorists have often chosen large vehicles since fuel costs have been so low, and the economy has enabled them to afford the best imported models.

Lucid Motors factory in Saudi Arabia

First international vehicle manufacturing facility
Five months ago, one of the first initiatives to reshape the automotive landscape took place with the opening of the first-ever international vehicle manufacturing factory in KSA. located in King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah, the factory is an investment by Lucid Motors, an EV manufacturer from America which was founded in 2007.

The choice of Saudi Arabia for Lucid Motors’ second factory and first one outside the USA is likely due to the KSA – via its Public Investment Fund – being the largest shareholder in the car company. In 2018, the sovereign wealth fund paid US$1.3 billion for a 60.05% share.

Lucid Motors factory in Saudi Arabia
At this time, the new factory assembles the electric sedans from CKD kits imported from Lucid Motors’ factory in America.

In the first phase, the facility has the capacity to assemble 5,000 Lucid vehicles per annum, with the aim of increasing to 155,000 vehicles per annum. The first model to be assembled is the Lucid Air, which went on sale in America in 2021. A rival to the Tesla Model S and other luxury electric cars, it has an output of 1,111 ps and a WLTP-rated range of 883 kms.
Lucid Air is one of two models the company currently makes.

Agreement to buy 100,000 Lucid EVs
As reciprocation for the investment by Lucid, the KSA government has signed an agreement to purchase up to 100,000 vehicles from the company over a 10-year period, with an initial commitment to purchase 50,000 vehicles and an option to purchase up to an additional 50,000 vehicles over the same period.

Saudi police likely to use Lucid EVs
One government agency that is certain to use the Lucid EVs will be KSA police. The Ministry of the Interior recently posted a video online which showed a Lucid Air with police and 911 stickers on its bodywork and the logo of the General Directorate of Public Security. The car was then at the 2024 World Defence Show at a site 70 kms from Riyadh.

Lucid Air EV Police Car in Saudi Arabia [2024]

Lucid Air EV Police Car in Saudi Arabia [2024]
An interesting feature of the Lucid Air police car for Saudia Arabia is a drone bay inside the beacon unit on the roof. When it opens, the drone can be deployed to scan the area around the car from a higher position.

Lucid Air EV Police Car in Saudi Arabia [2024]

The plant’s strategic location near Jeddah will also act as a catalyst to further grow and expand the newly established domestic supply chain, creating demand for local suppliers and fostering long-term growth. Jeddah’s position on the Red Sea coast already offers robust supply chain access by land and sea and will enable Lucid to export its vehicles to other regions in the future.

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