The electric car making startup company Faraday Future invests one billion dollars in the factory that will be building electric cars. By doing so, Southern California automotive startup aims to take on Tesla Motors and intends to become a major player on the EV market.
11/28/15 4:00 am chumakdenis 1
It seems that Faraday Future investment is the most discussed topic by now.
An almost unknown company that didn’t sell even a single car appears from nowhere and tells the entire world about its intents to build a $1 billion factory.
Moreover, the company publicly announces plans about overshadowing Tesla Motors in the nearest future.
Of course, after so loud statements the company will be on the spotlight.
Let’s talk more about it.
Faraday Future--it suggests you call it "FF"-- announced its plans to spend one billion dollars on the U.S. manufacturing facility to build electric vehicles.
FF has yet to announce the location of its facility, but the company’s senior vice president, Nick Sampson, said that the exact site will be announced "in the coming weeks" -- the company is considering locations in California, Georgia, Louisiana, and Nevada at the moment.
* Nevada has now apparently replaced Texas in the contest. The Lone Star State was discussed the last time the secretive company made a public statement.
Also, he mentioned that it’s only “phase one,” indicating that it’s only beginning of construction.
“We are very excited to make our $1 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing -- and this is just phase one. Selecting the right location for the future FF manufacturing facility is critical to our overall goals. Producing our forward-looking and fully-connected electric vehicles not only requires the latest technology, but the right community partner.”
“With energy constraints, urban crowding, and the increasingly intrinsic relationship we have with technology, today’s cars simply do not meet today’s needs. Our range of 100% electric and intelligent vehicles will offer seamless connectivity to the outside world.”
A few words about the company
Faraday Future was founded in 2014 in California.
FF -- as they prefer to be called -- currently resides in the former Nissan research and design building in Gardena, California.
FF currently has 400 employees and is hiring about 10 a week. They claim they’ll have 500 employees by the end of this year. They also claim that their first car will be “out by 2017.”
Out as in you will be able to buy one and park it in your garage during 2017.
A lot of brilliant former Tesla Motors employees joined FF, as well as BMW i Lead Designer.
Here are some of them:
* Nick Sampson, Senior Vice President - Former Director of Vehicle & Chassis Engineering, Tesla Motors;
* Dag Reckhorn, Vice President of Global Manufacturing - Former Director of Manufacturing, Tesla Model S;
* Alan Cherry, Vice President of Human Resources -Former Senior Director, Human Resources, Tesla Motors;
* Tom Wessner, Vice President of Supply Chain - Former Director of Purchasing, Tesla Motors;
* Richard Kim, Head of Design - Founding member of BMW i Design and Lead Designer, i3 and i8 concepts;
* Silva Hiti ,Sr. Dir. of Powertrain- Former lead powertrain at Chevrolet Volt;
* Pontus Fontaeus, Interior Design - Former Lamborghini, Ferrari, Land Rover designer;
* Page Beermann, Exterior Design Chief - Former Creative Director at BMW;
* Porter Harris, Batteries - Former SpaceX engineer.
Well, as it can be seen, the company doesn’t bluff and has all chances to kick Elon’s ass – interesting, what does he think about it?
How will the car look like?
We know very little about the initial FF car other than it will have four wheels, look something like a high-riding sedan, and have no internal combustion parts whatsoever.
There’s a small rendering of the rear of a car two-thirds of the way down the official site that supposedly is a pretty good indication of what the first FF will look like from behind (see the images below). Kinda like a low-slung BMW X6 to these eyes.
FF claims this car will be the first vehicle on offer, with other models to come. FF is also claiming that their cars will be as much about Silicon-Valley style technological innovation as they are good, old fashioned personal transportation.
Speaking of batteries, here’s what we know about the upcoming FF battery solution:
* it will have 15 percent higher specific energy than a Tesla Model S 85 kW-hr pack-- that works out to 98 kW-hr;
* it’s a multi-cell solution;
* the company is aiming for the highest energy density and specific energy vehicle on the market;
* it will be single cell, thermal-runaway fault tolerant (will not propagate to other cells);
* single or groups of cells can be replaced;
* module designed for mass production, utilizing new processes and technologies;
* same battery design to be used in all vehicles with only a change in capacity (no change in voltage);
* the higher energy density allows for larger crumple zones than on the Tesla Model S.
Backed by a Chinese multi-billionaire
The company declined to identify its ownership and investors, but a review of incorporation papers filed with the California secretary of state’s office links FF to a Chinese media company operated by Jia Yueting( also known as the “Netflix of China”) - an entrepreneur who founded Leshi Internet Information & Technology.
Jia is worth $7 billion, according to Forbes, which ranked him as China’s 17th richest person. He recently launched a line of smartphones and acquired a 70% stake in Yidao Yongche, an Uber-like car service in China.
The papers list Chaoying Deng, the woman who runs a Leshi affiliate in the U.S., as Faraday’s chief executive. Earlier this year, Jia told us that he wanted to develop a car that would rival Tesla.
Will the company make a hit?
The company clearly is gunning for Tesla Motors and has all chances to make a hit.
However, don’t forget that for every Tesla there are dozens of automotive startups that fail.
The industry has always been tough on newcomers, and the demands of modern regulations and technology only make things more difficult.
Of course, the company stands out from the crowd and has tons of aces in the hole (rich as hell founders, well-qualified employees that have worked before in such companies as Tesla Motors, BMW, Ferrari, and some other advantages),but it’s really hard to predict something.
Beyond company’s promises and claims, Faraday Future is a ghost.
The company has a basic website, a few social media posts, and promises of unique and groundbreaking electric vehicles. It claims to have hundreds of employees.
As for funding, all we know is that one employee claims it has secured government funding. Is the mystery a way to drum up interest in its brand? Or is it part of the company’s desire to stay under Tesla’s radar?
At this point, given the mysteries surrounding the company, anything is possible. And we may just need to wait two years before we get a real answer.