United States electric auto start-up and wannabe Tesla rival, Lucid Motors, has secured the huge $US1 billion investment agreement with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund in another sign electric cars are the future.
Lucid Motors, based in Newark, California, was founded in 2007.
The PIF's Lucid investment comes a little more than a month after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he had "funding secured" to take the company private at $420 per share.
The funding will enable Silicon Valley-based Lucid to achieve the commercial launch of its Lucid Air electric vehicle in 2020, PIF said in an announcement on Monday.
As for Lucid, it will use the much-needed funds to complete development of its first product, the Air, and get a factory up and running in Casa Grande, Arizona. "At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric-connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward", he said.
The Lucid Air is very much a luxury vehicle in the mould of Tesla
"By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF is gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development and driving revenue and sectoral diversification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", a spokesperson for PIF said.
Tesla's shares fell 2.2 percent on news of PIF's investment in Lucid.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks at the opening ceremony of Future Investment Initiative Conference in this Oct 24, 2017 photo.
"The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized", said Peter Rawlinson, chief technology officer of Lucid.
There are multiple reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the disclosure, including asking board members what they knew about Musk's plans. The $11 billion loan allows it to make further investments without divesting from its other holdings. In comparison, Apple in August became the world's first publicly traded company to be valued at $1 trillion.