Rivian’s Saudi backer Abdul Latif Jameel to invest in Indian two-wheeled EVs

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A Saudi Arabian family-owned group that reaped billions as an early backer of electric truck-maker Rivian Automotive Inc., has made a new bet on battery-powered vehicles, this time investing in two- and three-wheeler vehicles in India.

Abdul Latif Jameel, a Jeddah-based group named after its founder, committed to invest up to $220 million in Greaves Electric Mobility, according to a statement.

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It will initially pay $150 million for a 35.8 percent stake in the electric vehicle maker, part of Greaves Cotton, an Indian manufacturing and engineering company.

The investment will help Greaves Electric grow its business locally, and potentially expand in regions including Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Greaves Cotton shares jumped almost 14 percent on the news, before paring gains to around 1.2 percent.

India, the world’s fourth-largest automobile market, is pushing to decarbonize transport and achieve a goal of turning net carbon zero by 2070.

BloombergNEF expects 53 percent of new automobile sales in India will be electric by 2040, compared with 77 percent in China.

ALJ, as the Saudi Arabian group is known, built its business on gasoline-fueled cars and has expanded into other industries in recent years, including backing start-ups like Rivian.

The firm is the third-largest investor in Rivian, with a stake worth about $3.5 billion.

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