US electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Lucid has officially opened its first overseas (and second) factory in Saudi Arabia in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Jeddah.

In 2018, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) invested in Lucid, headed by former Tesla executive Peter Rawlinson, on condition Lucid built a factory locally.

The move was part of a strategy to diversify the kingdom’s economy beyond oil.

The new site will produce EVs, such as the Air, for Saudi Arabia and export.

Estimated first phase capacity is 5,000 vehicles a year built initially from semi knocked-down (SKD) kits packed at the US factory in Arizona.

The plant will become a full manufacturing facility “production “after the middle of the decade” with capacity for 155,000 EVs.

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By GlobalData

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA), the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), and the Economic City at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) subsidised the plant.

Saudi Arabia wants 30% of new car sales in the kingdom to be electric by 2030.