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Lucid opens first global EV factory in Saudi Arabia

The facility in King Abdullah Economic City will have the capacity to assemble 5,000 vehicles per annum in the first phase

Californian electric vehicle (EV) maker Lucid Group has opened its first international manufacturing plant in the newly-launched King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) special economic zone.

The Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority last week issued Lucid a permit to operate a manufacturing unit at KAEC in Jeddah.

The US-based EV maker, which is backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced plans for the factory last year as the kingdom signed an agreement to buy up to 100,000 vehicles for over 10 years.

Lucid’s second advanced Manufacturing plant (AMP-2) and first international plant, the facility will produce electric vehicles for the kingdom and export to other markets, the company said in a statement.

The facility has the capacity to assemble 5,000 vehicles per annum in the first phase. It will be scaled up to produce 155,000 units per annum in the future. Lucid’s other manufacturing plant is in Arizona, United States.

The Saudi facility will cover more than 1.35 million square metres, occupying 31 percent of the KAEC SEZ’s designated area for the automotive industry.

Saudi-listed developer Emaar The Economic City signed a 25-year lease agreement with Lucid in February 2022 for a land plot in KAEC’s Industrial Valley for an auto manufacturing and assembly facility. The contract was valued at SAR113.5 million ($30.26 million).

The Saudi sovereign fund owns 60.2 percent of Lucid, with its investments reaching $5.4 billion since 2018.

Lucid in May announced its latest capital raise of $3 billion, including a $1.8 billion investment by a PIF affiliate. The transaction was successfully closed in June.