Ceer EV factory built by oil – gets land

Ceer saudi arabia EV electric vehicle, with BMW parts

Saudi Arabia Ceer gets land for its homegrown electric vehicle.

Plans for the new all-Saudi electric vehicle company Ceer are moving fast. The company, in partnership with Foxconn (Taiwan) and BMW (Germany) and owned by the Saudi Arabian Government, will be creating a homegrown, and flashy!, Saudi Arabian EV and land has been slated for the development.

Before you read on, we do want you to know that some people believe, including us, that Saudi Arabia wants the world to be hooked on oil, while it diversifies its own local economy. The country also has dubious plans for expansion into the tourism sector with Neom, The Line, and a massive ski resort Trojena built in the hot desert mountains

According to reports, Emaar, one of the six new industrial cities planned by Saudi Arabia, has sold land to Ceer (owned by the Saudi Government) for its car plant. Consider that all major holdings and dealings in Saudi Arabia are controlled by the ruling family so red tape is not an issue in moving ahead with any deal. Also note, investments and holdings and investments done by the rulers of Saudi Arabia are unilateral and are fuelled by Saudi Aramco, the wealthiest company in the world, its profits made entirely from oil and gas.

The land was worth $95M according to a statement from the Saudi Stock Exchange. The Tadawul site is blocked from viewing if you live in countries like Israel. Use a VPN set to the United States to see. We have a screenshot below of the deal.  

Saudi Aramco buys Ceer land

The 24-acre site (1M-square-meter) will be located in the Industrial Valley, near King Abdullah Port in King Abdullah Economic City and its construction will start early 2023 by the Red Sea, north of Jeddah.

Human rights in Saudi Arabia

Like Qatar, Saudi Arabia has a poor track record for labor violations. The international organisation Human Rights Watch  describes these conditions as “near-slavery” and attributes them to “deeply rooted gender, religious, and racial discrimination”.

An October 2020 report exploring the kafala system (often called modern slavery) estimates that there are approximately 10 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia, spread over most sectors of work, especially the energy and service sector. The kafala, or sponsorship system gives private citizens and companies in Jordan, Lebanon, and most Arab Gulf countries such as Qatar or Saudi Arabia almost total control over migrant workers’ employment and immigration status. Some 500 migrant workers died building the World Cup venue, and while the Ceer expansion is aimed to give jobs to Saudis, it’s unlikely they will agree to construction and factory work.

Since free speech is outlawed in Saudi Arabia, nobody will ever really know what’s going in Saudi Arabia. And that’s why doing business with Saudi Arabia is dangerous.

Ceer, set for sales in 2025, says it aims to making the factory a zero waste-to-landfill site. They are hoping to attract $150M USD in foreign investments. PIF, The Public Investment Fund (Arabic: صندوق الإستثمارات العامة) is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. They started issuing 100 year “green bonds” to finance green projects. “For brave-hearts or fools,” said one analyst.

Saudi Arabia is targeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, the same as China. Meanwhile it keeps pumping oil

The Saudi Arabia Ceer venture is between its Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Taiwan’s Foxconn to manufacture a portfolio of technologically advanced sedans and sports utility vehicles.

Ceer, with models set to be on sale in 2025, is slated to attract over $150M of foreign direct investment. It’s one of the major efforts launched by Saudi Arabia to reduce its dependence on oil and transition to more sustainable and environmentally friendly industries. 

Ceer competition 

Meanwhile, the salt-powered Quant EV car from Switzerland is popping into the news again (its CEO also sings!), and we’ve got some interesting EV ventures from the Middle East to look at. 

Lucid Motors, a joint EV between China, Saudi Arabia and the United States is moving ahead. Also from the Middle East area is Turkey’s Togg EV and Mays Motors from Oman. In Qatar, electric charge spots are free, but apparently no-one uses them except tourists.

 

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