Tesla, Saudi Arabia in Discussions For EV Unit To Assist Diversify Economy


Saudi Arabia is in preliminary talks with Tesla to establish a manufacturing facility in the country in order to diversify its economy away from oil. The Gulf kingdom has been courting the US automaker by offering the opportunity to purchase specified quantities of metals and minerals from countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Saudis approached the DRC government in June about acquiring assets in the country, which supplies roughly 70% of the world's cobalt. One suggestion being considered by the kingdom is to extend finance to commodities trading giant Trafigura for a floundering Congo cobalt and copper project that may help feed a Tesla vehicle manufacturing.

If successful, a deal with the Saudis could help Tesla realize its aspirations to sell 20 million vehicles a year by 2030, up from around 1.3 million in 2022, the report added. Tesla CEO Musk has said the EV maker needs roughly a dozen factories to meet its own goal and could announce to set up another by the byear-end. The company currently manufactures electric vehicles in the US, China and Germany, and plans to do so in Mexico, as per livemint.

A partnership with Saudi Arabia would also help the kingdom's fledgling efforts to attract large international investment, which is a priority for de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the article. The Saudis' desire to acquire Tesla is part of a larger initiative by the kingdom to secure access to metals overseas, refine them at home, and integrate them into the gulf country's burgeoning renewable energy ecosystem.

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