Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement worth $5.6 billion with China’s electric vehicle maker Human Horizons to design and manufacture EVs, the Saudi state news agency reports.
The signing of the agreement took place on the first day of the 10th Arab-China Business Conference, which Saudi Arabia hosts. The value of the EV deal accounts for just over half of the agreements of a combined $10 billion (37.5 billion Saudi riyals) signed on Sunday across several sectors, including technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, supply chains, tourism, and healthcare.
The agreements are part of deepening ties between the world’s top crude oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, and the world’s largest crude importer, China.
Both countries cooperate in oil refinery construction in China, and now they are expanding their partnership into alternative energy, including renewables and EVs.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has an ambitious program to transform the Saudi economy with multi-billion-dollar investments in smart cities, green hydrogen, and other non-oil sectors.
At the end of last year, Mohammed bin Salman launched the first Saudi EV brand, Ceer, which will design, manufacture, and sell a range of vehicles for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, including sedans and SUVs.
Ceer is a joint venture of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Foxconn, and will license component technology from BMW for use in the vehicle development process.
Ceer vehicles, to be designed and manufactured in Saudi Arabia, are scheduled to be available in 2025, the company said in November 2022.
“The launch comes in line with PIF’s strategy to focus on unlocking the capabilities of promising sectors locally that can help drive the diversification of the economy, to help achieve the objectives of Vision 2030. In addition, the company will contribute to Saudi Arabia’s efforts towards carbon emissions reduction and driving sustainability to address the impact of climate change,” Ceer said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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