SAUDI ARABIA - Global Player in the EV Market?

Arno Froese

With its own electric vehicle brand and the recent opening in Jeddah of a factory by US luxury EV maker Lucid Group, Saudi Arabia has revved up its diversification from oil and is steering its way to creating an EV manufacturing bloc.

Faisal Sultan, the Lucid Group’s vice president and Middle East managing director, said the new facility, added to the company’s existing factory in Arizona, “gives us the ability to efficiently fulfill the recently signed agreement with the government of Saudi Arabia to purchase up to 100,000 vehicles over a 10-year period, with an initial commitment to purchase 50,000 vehicles and an option to purchase up to an additional 50,000 vehicles over the same period.”

The new plant proves the kingdom’s “ability to attract investments and compete,” Saudi Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Alkhorayef said at the factory’s inauguration.

As well as Lucid and Ceer, Saudi Arabia is aiming to create an EV manufacturing bloc that includes South Korean company Hyundai and various Chinese firms.

“I think Saudi Arabia hasn’t fully maximized the potential from all that it has, so there is still much to be done,” he said.

“But the good news is that it is on track. Saudi Arabia has thought about energy transition in a very good way, in terms of how we can transition and use this alternative energy, which is the future, but also how can we also generate potential economic opportunities by localizing the manufacturing and development of this industry.”, 4 November 2023

Arno's Commentary

While the US has been the world’s largest oil producer since 2018, with 16.2% of global share, Saudi Arabia follows at 13%, and Russia 12.1%. However, due to a smaller domestic market, Saudi Arabia is by far the largest oil exporter in the world. Saudi Arabia dominates when it comes to pricing power through OPEC, an organization founded in September 1960 in Iraq, and presently headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The members of OPEC represent over 80% of the world’s oil production capacity. 

Saudi Arabia’s population is about 40 million people, and overwhelmingly Muslim. The CIA Factbook notes, “Non-Muslims are not allowed to have Saudi citizenship, and non-Muslim places of worship are not permitted” (2013). Yet based on various credit rating agencies, the future of the nation looks bright.

Saudi Arabia’s leadership sees the decrease in oil being required to run the world’s industries, and now somewhat late, is jumping on the bandwagon to electric vehicles.

A Google search reveals, “What was Arabia called in Biblical Times? In Old Testament literature, Arabia was often referred to as ‘Kedem,’ the East (cf. Gen. 10:30; 25:6; 29:1, etc.). Paul naturally used ‘the East’ and ‘Arabia’ as interchangeable terms.”

In 2 Chronicles 17, we read of King Jehoshaphat; verse 3 testifies: “And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim.” The surrounding nations became subject unto Jehoshaphat. Verse 11 declares: “Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats.”

We call attention to Abraham’s six sons by his wife Keturah: “And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah” (Genesis 25:2). There is power in the Arab world!

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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