Lucid Fate Is Staring

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  • Saudi Arabia is already closely involved with Lucid Motors, but rumors last weekend that the government’s Public Investment Fund wanted to buy more shares of Lucid sent its price up 43 percent. Then step back a bit over the weekend.
  • PIF already owns more than 60 percent of Lucid and has pledged to purchase up to 100,000 EVs from the automaker over the next 10 years. Lucid has also announced that it will build a factory in Saudi Arabia.
  • Also, last week, Lucid announced it would provide a 469 hp electric drive unit for all Formula E race cars this season. The EDU covers the motor, inverter, differential and transmission and will be used to capture braking energy.

Despite having large oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is interested in electric vehicles. Whether it’s a deal with Canoo for fleet vehicles or Saudi Ceer, an upcoming mass-market, homegrown EV slated to arrive in 2025 with help from FoxConn, Saudi Arabia is in the EV game. The country’s relationship with Lucid is good, and rumors that the Saudi government might increase its investment in the luxury car maker sent its share price up 43 percent on Friday, ending at $12.87.

Nothing has been officially announced regarding such a deal, however Reuters reported that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) is considering buying the remaining shares of Lucid. Lucid’s share price is down 4.5 percent over the weekend from Friday’s high.

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

Lucid is breaking news again in the all-electric Formula E racing series. The company announced that an internal electric drive unit (EDU), which includes the motor, inverter, differential and transmission and produces up to 469 horsepower, will be used in every Gen 3 Formula E race car. Lucid says the EDU will provide regenerative energy recovery from the front wheels . 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 EDU technology beyond Formula E.

In fact, in its announcement, Lucid didn’t technically say anything about Formula E. Instead, it said that EDU could be found in the cones of every car in “the world’s leading single-seater electric racing series”, so, well, there you have it. Formula E. Lucid has a history with the racing series, having developed the battery pack used in previous Formula E seasons.

Lucid highlights the EDU’s high power density (6.7 hp per pound) in a unit that weighs just over 70 pounds and can spin up to 19,500 rpm. While not the same units found in the Lucid Air electric sedan, some of the technology, such as the proprietary microjet cooling system, is found in both vehicles.

“I am excited by the prospect that some of the technical advances introduced will, in turn, make their way to Lucid’s future road cars,” said Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson in a statement. “For Lucid, the transfer of technology between motorsports and street cars is a two-way symbiosis.”

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

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