The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia announced today, Thursday, that the Kingdom will manufacture electric cars under a joint venture with the Taiwanese company Foxconn.
According to an official statement from the fund, the Saudi car brand will bear the name “Ceer”, which will produce electric cars locally, and a range of vehicles will be designed, manufactured and sold in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa region, including: sedans and sports cars.
Saudi electric cars launch date
The fund said that electric cars will be launched on the market starting from 2025, adding that they will attract more than $150 million in foreign direct investment, provide up to 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, and are expected to contribute about $8 billion in GDP. total for the kingdom by 2034.
As for the technology that will be used in the process of developing Saudi electric cars, the Public Investment Fund indicated in its statement that it will license the technology of components belonging to the German company BMW. He explained that Foxconn will work to develop electrical engineering for the vehicles.
The Public Investment Fund, chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the prince’s vehicle for pushing efforts to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil. Noting that the interest in electric cars is not new to the Kingdom, as the Public Investment Fund was one of the major investors in the famous American electric car maker Tesla.
But after disagreements between the fund and the company’s president, billionaire Elon Musk, the fund sold most of its stake in the company in 2019, and since then Saudi Arabia has turned to Tesla’s rival electric car company, Lucid, which is now more than 60 percent owned by the fund.
Lucid is building an electric car assembly plant in Jeddah, with a final production capacity of 150,000 cars annually. The Saudi government signed a deal with the American company to buy up to 100,000 of its cars over the next ten years.
The kingdom is also working to advance the mining process needed in the development of electric cars, and it said last May that it would build a factory for electric car batteries.
The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Saudi Arabia was in talks with Foxconn to build a $9 billion joint facility that could make microchips and components for electric cars and other electronics in NEOM, the $500 billion futuristic city being built. In the desert of Saudi Arabia.