- Saudi Arabia is already closely involved with Lucid Motors, but rumors late last week that the government’s Public Investment Fund wanted to buy more Lucid shares sent the price up 43 percent. It then retreated slightly over the weekend.
- PIF already owns more than 60 percent of Lucid and has pledged to buy up to 100,000 EVs from the automaker over the next 10 years. Lucid has also announced it will build a factory in Saudi Arabia.
- Also, last week, Lucid announced that it is providing a 469-hp electric drive unit for all Formula E race cars this season. The EDU includes a motor, inverter, differential and transmission and will be used to capture braking energy.
Even with its vast oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is interested in electric vehicles. Whether it’s the deal with Canoo for fleet vehicles or the Saudi Ceer, the upcoming local mass-market EV scheduled to arrive in 2025 with help from FoxConn, Saudi Arabia is in the EV game. The country’s relationship with Lucid is well established, and rumors that the Saudi government may increase its investment in the luxury carmaker sent the stock up 43 percent on Friday, closing at $12.87.
Nothing has been officially announced about any such deal, but Reuters reports that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is considering buying the remaining shares of Lucid. Lucid’s share price was down 4.5 percent over the weekend from Friday’s high.
Last year, Lucid sold nearly 86 million shares to PIF affiliates for around $915 million. Lucid sold other shares to other groups, but the deal kept PIF’s overall investment in Lucid stable, at around 62 percent, according to CNBC. Last spring, the Saudi Arabian government announced it would buy between 50,000 and 100,000 Lucid EVs over the next decade. Lucid also announced it will build a second factory in Saudi Arabia. Last year, Lucid built a total of 7180 vehicles at its sole plant in Arizona.
Lucid made other news in the all-electric Formula E racing series. The company announced that an internal electric drive unit (EDU), which includes a motor, inverter, differential and transmission and produces up to 469 horsepower, will be used in every Gen3 Formula E race car. Lucid says the EDU will provide regenerative energy recovery from the front wheels. EDU won’t be able to send all 469 horses to power the front wheels due to Formula E regulations, but Lucid has plans for EDU technology beyond Formula E.
Actually, in its announcement, Lucid technically didn’t say anything about Formula E. Instead, it said EDU can be found in the cones of every car in “the world’s leading single-seater electric racing series,” so, well, it’s Formula E .Lucid has a history with the racing series, having developed battery packs used in previous Formula E seasons.
Lucid highlights the EDU’s high power density (6.7 hp per pound) in a unit that weighs just over 70 pounds and can spin up to 19,500 rpm. While not the same unit found in the Lucid Air electric sedan, some technology, such as the proprietary microjet cooling system, is found in both vehicles.
“I’m excited by the prospect that some of the technical advances introduced may, in turn, make their way into future Lucid road cars,” Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said in a statement. “For Lucid, technology transfer between motorsport and road cars is a two-way symbiosis.”
Lucid builds every Formula E EDU at its headquarters in California.