RIYADH: US-based Lucid Motors is set to roll out its first fully Saudi-assembled electric car in September in the coastal city of Jeddah, said Faisal Sultan, vice president, and managing director in the Middle East.
Talking to Arab News on the sidelines of the PIF’s Private Sector Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday, the top official of the Public Investment Fund-backed electric vehicle manufacturer said: “Very exciting things are happening at Lucid, and if you take a flight to Jeddah and drive to King Abdullah Economic City, where our plant is going to be located… Pretty soon we are going to start putting equipment in that.”
In May 2022, the automaker signed deals to build a production factory in Saudi Arabia with an annual capacity of 155,000 zero-emission electric vehicles.
The deals were estimated to provide financing and incentives to Lucid up to $3.4 billion in total over the next 15 years to build and operate the manufacturing facility in the Kingdom.
To be located in King Abdullah Economic City, AMP-2 is the PIF-backed electric vehicle manufacturer’s first production facility outside the US. The Saudi Industrial Development Fund financed the project with SR5 billion ($1.3 billion). It is expected to create over 4,500 jobs in KAEC.
According to Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef, about 85 percent of the factory’s production will be exported, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s competitive location and abilities.
According to market research firm Mordor Intelligence, the Middle East and African EV market was valued at $40.25 million in 2021, and is expected to reach $93.10 million by 2027, registering a compound annual growth rate of more than 15 percent during the forecast period.
During a panel session on Wednesday, the Lucid official discussed the localization of jobs and what role the private sector can play in the company’s growth.
“We need partners who are going to be producing the parts for the cars. So that value chain is huge,” he said.
Sultan said there are lots of opportunities up for grabs in the Lucid project. He said the car manufacturer is keen on building partnerships with other entities in the private sector and described the potential collaboration, as not just a “business partnership” but “strategic” ties that are likely to expand.
He said that the Kingdom is undergoing a transformation, which seeks to expand its manufacturing sector using the latest technologies. “And Lucid is a prime example of that.”
“We have a large batch of vehicles coming (from Arizona) in May, June, and July of this year, and you will see a lot more Lucid vehicles in people’s hands at that time,” he told Arab News.
With total Saudi investments in EV production expected to reach $50 billion over the next decade, the hope is that least 30 percent of the vehicles on the road in Riyadh will be electric in the next seven years.