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Lucid Motors gets $1B from Saudi fund, pushes EV debut to 2020

Pushing back a release date is par for the course with electric-vehicle startups.

Lucid Motors

Lucid Motors first teased its forthcoming electric luxury sedan, the Air, in 2016. Back then, it was aiming for a release date in 2018. Now, that date's been pushed back, but at the same time, the company received a sizable investment that will help it push forward.

Lucid Motors today announced that it has agreed to accept a $1 billion investment from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. Rumors of the PIF's investment in Lucid started circulating in August, around the time when the PIF was also rumored to be involved in taking Tesla private.

"PIF's international investment strategy aims to strengthen PIF's performance as an active contributor in the international economy, an investor in the industries of the future and the partner of choice for international investment opportunities," a spokesperson for the PIF said in a statement. "Our investment in Lucid is a strong example of these objectives."

The fledgling automaker will use this investment to finish the development and testing of its first car, the Air, in addition to constructing Lucid's upcoming factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. Lucid's press release says the Air is now slated for a 2020 release, which is two years beyond when the company first expected to launch its electric car.

When it goes on sale, Lucid hopes to price the Air's base model around $60,000 -- or, at least, that was the plan as of early 2017. That price would net you a 400-horsepower electric motor sending power to the rear wheels with an expected range around 240 miles. Creep closer to the six-figure range and you'll get more range (allegedly north of 315 miles) and up to 1,000 horsepower. It also happens to be pretty darn handsome.