PIF investment in Lucid: Endorsing a sustainable economy
I recently received a WhatsApp message that showed a 10-year comparison of the market value of two auto companies: Ford and Tesla. In June 2010, Ford’s market value was $38 billion, and Tesla’s was calculated at $1.3 billion. Statistics released last month showed Ford at $28 billion, with Tesla at a whopping $256 billion. That is remarkable.
With the rapid emergence of the digital economy, renewable energy and artificial intelligence, electric cars will soon replace their petrol-run counterparts. Investments in renewable and clean energy, as well as electric cars, form an integral part of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.
By investing in the electric-vehicles market, the Kingdom, through its sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is gaining exposure and growth in long-term investment opportunities. These investments are also part of the government’s plan to build an environmentally friendly economy while diversifying the country’s gross domestic product away from oil.
To date, the PIF has backed two leading electric-car companies: Lucid and Tesla. As part of its global asset allocation model, it has divested the majority of its stakes in Tesla while keeping its strategic investment in Lucid.
By 2025, experts believe that electric cars will become cheaper than petrol-run ones, mostly due to the fall in the cost of batteries. It is projected that 30 million electric cars will be sold by 2030, accounting for almost 30 percent of new sales. For the past four years, almost every major car manufacturer has started developing prototype electric cars.
The California-based Lucid has revealed its first line-up. With up to 1,080 horsepower available in a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive architecture, the Lucid Air can achieve quarter-mile times as quick as 9.9 seconds on a consistent, repeatable basis.
In my opinion, as part of the PIF’s global investment guidelines, this is a strategic investment to build a sustainable economy that utilizes modern clean-energy technologies.
I do not drive in Saudi Arabia, but after I reserved a Lucid car earlier this year, I cannot wait to drive on the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah.
Basil M. K. Al-Ghalayini is chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.