A revolution in transportation, energy, and city planning is brewing in the kingdom. But is everything as advertised?
Something strange is happening in Saudi Arabia. Several years ago, I remember reading stories about the Saudis realizing the days of fossil fuel energy were numbered so they were investing heavily in “green” energy. At the time I filed it away as more hype for solar panels and wind turbines and moved on. Then Saudi Arabia’s public wealth fund became a major investor in electric car startup Lucid, claiming about a 62% stake in the company. Most largely ignored this involvement since Lucid wasn’t a player in the automotive market, only having some proof of concepts to show off at the time.
Things have changed in 2022 with Lucid pumping out luxury EVs for well-heeled customers around the globe. Many corporate media, both automotive and mainstream, have been fawning over Lucid. Some have gone so far as to openly question if the Newark, California automaker will knock Tesla off its lofty perch in the EV space. The $77,400 starting price tag for the Lucid Air might make some laugh at such an assertion, but compared to the $106,440 starting price of the 2022 Tesla Model S, a car that started at $57,400 back in November 2012, such speculation doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous.
Back in April of this year, Lucid finalized a deal with the government of Saudi Arabia for the purchase of up to 100,000 Lucid EVs over the next ten years. The agreement guarantees the purchase of 50,000 units over a decade, with the option of buying another 50,000.
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