Lucid Motors gets $1 billion to help build its EV

The Saudi investment means the Lucid Air may come out in 2020.

Roberto Baldwin / Engadget

Lucid Motors, a struggling electric car startup, has just won itself a reprieve. Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund invested $1 billion in the Tesla competitor; the money will be put towards the company's first production vehicle, the Lucid Air, which is due out in 2020.

The company had plans to build a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, but ran into stumbling blocks when it came to financing. Now, the company can use some of the Saudi investment to finish building the factory, as well as finish testing, finalize the design and begin production of the Lucid Air.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has made clear its interest in EVs and other clean tech recently. Elon Musk cited discussions with the fund as the impetus for his tweets on possibly taking Tesla private (which is not actually happening).

"By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF is gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development and driving revenue and sectoral diversification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," a spokesman for the sovereign wealth fund told Reuters.