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Olayan and Canoo sign deal for electric vehicles in Saudi

Canoo EV Canoo
US EV startup Canoo has forged a deal with Saudi Arabia's Olayan Group
  • US brand Canoo is latest EV maker to enter Saudi market
  • Lucid and Ceer also part of kingdom’s drive to cut hydrocarbons

Saudi Arabian general contracting company GCC Olayan has signed a deal with US electric vehicles maker Canoo for the sale, service and distribution in the kingdom of its EVs.

Part of Saudi conglomerate The Olayan Group, GCC Olayan said the partnership was the first step in plans to expand beyond the initial dealership agreement, with the possibility of developing full scale manufacturing in the kingdom in the future.

Canoo and GCC Olayan will also work to develop a joint venture to launch a digital vehicle ecosystem for service maintenance repair, local assembly and eventually manufacturing, said a press statement.

“We recognise there is growing demand for sustainable mobility solutions in Saudi Arabia, partly driven by the launch of the Saudi Green Initiative and its pledge to achieve net zero by 2060,” Uwaidh K. Al-Harethi, CEO of Olayan Saudi Holding Company, said.

Founded in 2017 and based in Texas, Canoo is the latest EV operator to expand into Saudi Arabia, as the government looks to diversify beyond hydrocarbons.

The Saudi Ministry of Energy in August launched regulations for the rollout of EV charging stations, looking at the various legislative, organisational and technical aspects.

Saudi EVs
GCC Olayan and Canoo signs deal to roll out EVs in Saudi Arabia

In May, Saudi Arabia’s minister of investment Khalid Al-Falih announced that US-based Lucid Group would build the first of at least three EV manufacturing plants in the kingdom.

Lucid Group, which is 60 percent owned by Saudi sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund (PIF), said its EV production will have an annual capacity of 155,000 vehicles and help create 4,500 new jobs.

PIF also announced in November an agreement with Taiwan’s Foxconn to manufacture EVs in the kingdom under the brand name Ceer. Reuters reported that PIF hopes Ceer cars will hit the kingdom’s roads in 2025.

“We want to make electric vehicles mainstream, and that is what Ceer is going to achieve in Saudi Arabia and the wider region,” Foxconn chairman Young Liu was quoted as saying.