Saudi Arabia is reportedly in early talks with Tesla to establish a manufacturing facility in the kingdom. The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, revealed that the Saudi government has been enticing Tesla with the opportunity to purchase specific quantities of metals and minerals required for electric vehicle (EV) production. This offer includes sourcing materials from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The move by Saudi Arabia is part of the country’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund has already invested in Lucid Group, a startup aspiring to challenge Tesla’s market dominance in the EV industry.
One proposal being considered by Saudi Arabia involves extending financing to commodities trader Trafigura, which could help supply Tesla’s factory with resources for EV production. However, Trafigura is currently reviewing its options for the Mutoshi project in Congo due to rising costs and persistently low cobalt prices.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California. This meeting follows a request by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for Musk to build a vehicle factory in Turkey.
Tesla is already operating six factories worldwide and is in the process of establishing a seventh one in Mexico. The company aims to select a location for another factory by the end of 2023 and has set a target of selling 20 million vehicles annually by 2030.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, Reuters