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Lucid Group to construct first factory outside the U.S. in Saudi Arabia

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U.S. electric vehicle maker Lucid Group will arrange its first overseas factory in Saudi Arabia, the corporate announced.

Javier Blas | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. electric vehicle maker Lucid Group will arrange its first overseas factory in Saudi Arabia, the corporate has announced.

The manufacturing facility will have the ability to provide 155,000 vehicles a yr, and can initially serve the local market, the luxurious automobile maker said in a press release Wednesday. The vehicles will later be exported to global markets.

Lucid’s factory in Arizona can produce 350,000 units a yr.

“Which means we are able to speed up plans to provide half one million cars a yr from what was going to be 2030, to mid decade,” CEO Peter Rawlinson told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble. “And that is really necessary since the planet cannot wait.”

The continued energy crisis “really just fuels the transition to battery electric vehicles,” said Rawlinson.

“The demand is now multiplying,” he said.

EV industry ambitions

Saudi Arabia’s minister of investment, Khalid al-Falih, said the Lucid factory is only the start.

“I think it unleashes the entire industry of electrical vehicles here in the dominion, our intent shouldn’t be to stop with Lucid,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

“We’ve other EV manufacturers which might be in advanced discussions with us that may follow within the footsteps of Lucid,” he added.

Saudi Arabia also wants EV battery firms, suppliers and more to establish shop within the country, which could create 30,000 jobs, he said.

“We consider, like I said, that this can be a catalytic investment decision … it is a magnet that may attract plenty of other investors,” al-Falih said.

Lucid’s Rawlinson said the corporate would want to provide greater than electric cars in Saudi Arabia, and pointed to energy storage systems that could possibly be linked to solar photovoltaic farms.

“This technology is good for this a part of the world,” he said. “Because remember, when the oil runs out, the sun will keep shining.”

As of 2021, Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest producer of oil, in response to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It also has 297.5 billion barrels in oil reserves, second only to Venezuela, a World Population Review rating said.

The dominion’s state oil company, Aramco, saw its net income spike 82% to $39.5 billion in the primary quarter of 2022.

Al-Falih said the world still needs to take a position in each fossil fuels and renewables to make the energy transition as smooth as possible.

He said Saudi Arabia is committed to its shift from traditional fuels to cleaner energy, citing the dominion’s green initiatives.

— CNBC’s Dan Murphy contributed to this report.

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