Lucid’s Fortunes Are Looking Up

  • Saudi Arabia is already closely involved in Lucid Motors, but rumors late last week that the government’s Public Investment Fund wanted to buy even more of Lucid’s shares sent the price up 43 percent. It then receded a bit over the weekend.
  • The PIF already owns more than 60 percent of Lucid and has pledged to buy up to 100,000 EVs from the automaker over the next 10 years. Lucid also announced that it will build a plant in Saudi Arabia.
  • Lucid also announced last week that it is supplying a 469 hp electric drive unit for all Formula E racing cars this season. The EDU includes a motor, inverter, differential and transmission and will be used to capture braking energy.

Even with its large oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is interested in electric vehicles. Whether it’s a deal with Canoo for fleet vehicles or the Saudi Ceer, an upcoming homegrown mass-market EV scheduled to arrive in 2025 with help from FoxConn, Saudi Arabia is in the EV game. The country’s relationship with Lucid is well-established, and rumors that the Saudi government may increase its investment in the luxury automaker sent the stock price up 43 percent on Friday to close at $12.87.

Nothing has been officially announced about such a deal, but Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is considering buying out the rest of Lucid’s shares. Lucid’s share price fell 4.5 percent over the weekend from Friday’s high.

Last year, Lucid sold nearly 86 million shares to a PIF affiliate for about $915 million. Lucid sold other shares to other groups, but the deal kept the PIF’s overall investment in Lucid steady at about 62 percent, according to CNBC. Last spring, Saudi Arabia’s government announced it would buy between 50,000 and 100,000 Lucid EVs over the next decade. Lucid also announced that it will build its second plant in Saudi Arabia. Last year, Lucid built a total of 7,180 vehicles at its sole plant in Arizona.

Lucid has made news of a different kind in the all-electric Formula E racing series. The company announced that its internal electric drive unit (EDU), which includes a motor, converter, differential and transmission and produces up to 469 horsepower, will be used in every Gen3 Formula E race car. Lucid said the EDU will provide regenerative energy recovery from the front wheels. The EDU won’t be able to send all 469 horses to drive the front wheels due to Formula E regulations, but Lucid has plans for the EDU’s technology beyond Formula E.

Actually, Lucid didn’t technically say anything about Formula E in its announcement. Instead, he said that the EDU can be found in the cone of every car in the “world’s premier single-seat electric racing series,” so, well, it’s Formula E. Lucid has a history with the racing series, having ‘ developed a battery pack that was used in previous Formula E seasons.

Lucid highlights the high power density of the EDU (6.7 hp per pound) in a unit that weighs just over 70 pounds and can spin up to 19,500 rpm. Although not the same unit found in the Lucid Air electric sedan, some technologies, such as the proprietary micro-jet cooling system, are found in both vehicles.

“I am excited at the prospect that some of the technical advances introduced may in turn make their way into future Lucid road cars,” Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said in a statement. “For Lucid, the transfer of technology between motorsport and road cars is a two-way symbiosis.”

Lucid builds each of the Formula E EDUs at its headquarters in California.