Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund may invest in luxury electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors, according to Reuters, which reports that recent discussions could result in the Saudis eventually investing over $1 billion and obtaining majority ownership.

Why it matters:

The report comes just days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) was “eager” to bankroll his plan to take Tesla private.

  • The Reuters piece and Musk’s claims, taken together, signal Saudi interest in electric vehicles as one of the tech sectors that can help diversify their oil-dominant economy.
  • However, Reuters’ framing of the potential Lucid deal creates even more uncertainty about the Saudis’ readiness and ability to invest heavily in Musk’s expensive take-private plan.
  • “A deal with Lucid Motors would . . . be more in line with PIF’s limited resources, given that, despite its $250 billion in assets, PIF has already made substantial commitments to other technology companies or investments, including a $45-billion agreement to invest in a giant technology fund led by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.,” they report.

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