Faraday Future

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Faraday Future
Privately held company
Industry Automotive
Founded April 2014; 4 years ago (2014-04)
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Key people
  • Jia Yueting Chief Executive Officer[1]
  • Nick Sampson Senior Vice President of Product Strategy
  • Dag Reckhorn Vice President of Global Manufacturing
  • Peter Savagian Senior Vice President of Product Development
  • Pablo Ucar Vice President of Supply Chain
  • Michael Agosta Vice President of Finance, North America
Products FF 91
Owner Jia Yueting / Evergrande Health
Number of employees
1400[2]
Website www.ff.com

Faraday Future is an American start-up technology company focused on the development of intelligent electric vehicles. Faraday Future was established in April 2014[3] and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood, which is adjacent to Carson, California. Since its inception in 2014, the company grew to 1000 employees by January 2016.[4]

Faraday Future is named for one of the founding principles of electric motor technology known as Faraday's law of induction.[5] Faraday's Law is in turn named after English scientist Michael Faraday who discovered electromagnetic induction. The company debuted its first concept vehicle, the single-seat sports car, FF ZERO1, at the January 2016 Consumer Electronics Show but did not announce production schedules.[6] The company debuted its first production vehicle, the connected car based on advanced telematics, FF 91, at the January 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. Only 300 “Alliance Edition” launch units will be available, with first deliveries expected in 2018.[7]

The majority shareholder for the company is Jia Yueting. In late 2017, after the then CFO Stefan Krause and CTO Ulrich Kranz departed Faraday Future, Jia Yueting took over as CEO of the company.

Planned location[edit]

Faraday Future announced in November 2015 that it would invest up to $1 billion into its first manufacturing facility. Possible U.S facility locations are being considered in California, Georgia, Louisiana, and Nevada.[8]

In December 2015, Faraday Future settled on a location in North Las Vegas for its manufacturing site,[9] built by AECOM for $500 million.[10] Construction began in April 2016 with additional required infrastructure which Nevada has formally agreed to build remains on hold pending a verification of Faraday Future that it is financially sound and fully able to raise enough money to finance the entire project.[11] The facility is helped by a $215 million tax incentive, and a 4-mile (6 km) railway spur in 2018 to the 300 million sq ft (28 million m2) future factory where 4,500 full-time employees could work.[12]

On May 24, 2016, the City of Vallejo, California announced there will be a May 31, 2016 Special City Council vote on an exclusive negotiating agreement. This represents the first formal step to bringing Faraday Future to Mare Island. Following Karma Automotive's new plant in Moreno Valley,[13] the project would be the second new automobile manufacturing facility to be built from the ground up in California in the last few years. It would bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment to the local economy.[14] On May 31, 2016, the City Council unanimously agreed on entering the 6-month agreement.[15][16]

Due to the corporate efforts on development of its first production vehicle and plant in North Las Vegas, Faraday Future ended its Exclusive Right to Negotiate with the City of Vallejo. As part of the original agreement, Faraday Future will share various technical studies used to assess the island for development feasibility.[17]

On July 10, 2017, the company announced they will no longer build a plant in North Las Vegas due to financial issues.[18]

In August 2017, the company announced that it had signed a lease for a former Pirelli tire plant in Hanford, California. The company said that it could employ up to 1,300 people over time and build up to 10,000 cars a year at that location.[19][20]

Planned products[edit]

Faraday Future originally planned to launch its first fully electric vehicle in 2017, with the possibility of producing a larger range of vehicles over time.[21][22] The company has implied plans to explore other aspects of the automotive and technology industries, such as experiential ownership and usage models, in-vehicle content, and autonomous driving.[23][24][25][26]

In July 2015, Motor Trend ran an article that provided a few specifications for Faraday Future’s proposed electric vehicle: it will have 15 percent higher specific energy than a Tesla Model S, it utilizes a multi cell solution where both individual cells and groups of cells can be replaced, and it will have a modular design for improved mass-production methods.[27]

At the November 2015 LA Auto Show, Head of Design Richard Kim discussed his interest in creating a vehicle that featured internet access, in-car entertainment, aromatherapy technology, and ergonomic interior design.[28]

The ZERO1

On January 4, 2016, at the US Consumer Electronics Show, they revealed their 1,000 hp (750 kW), 200 mph (320 km/h), single seat race-car concept, the FF ZERO1.[29] It has a style similar to the 1960s Batmobile. They showed a video demonstrating how their basic design would allow for many body styles and battery configurations. No specific details were given for these potential car designs other than the race-car concept. Following the reveal, their social media pages were hit with mostly negative comments. Many stated that they were expecting details on an affordable production car that would compete with the Tesla Model 3 or Nissan Leaf. They expressed disappointment that the only design shown was of a high end concept race-car that would never actually be produced, instead of a production car for the everyday driver.[30]

Faraday Future plans to begin testing self-driving vehicles on California roads after winning approval from California on June 17, 2016.[31]

Faraday Future unveiled their new FF 91 130 kWh vehicle design at the January 2017 US Consumer Electronics Show,[32][33][34] and received a total of 64,124 reservations within the first 36 hours, despite a demonstration that did not go particularly well.[35] It is claimed to accelerate 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in less than 2.5 seconds,[36][37] costing less than $300,000.[38] Faraday Future plans several cars based on the flexible Variable Platform Architecture (VPA).[39]

Commercial and marketing plans[edit]

The company said that some of Faraday Future’s revenue stream is expected to come from alternative, ancillary sources, the anticipated revenue structure being closer to that of the smartphone than to that of standard automobile sales.[40]

In November 2015, Faraday Future announced that they would attend CES International (the Consumer Electronics Show) in January 2016.[41][42] In January 2017 the company presented its latest technology at the CES in Las Vegas, claiming that their car makes all other cars redundant.[43]

Funding[edit]

Faraday has been the subject of speculation voiced by ex-employees and government officials who have expressed doubts about the company's finances.[44][45] Specifically, Faraday has failed to fund even a few relatively small escrow accounts which has led to some analysts doubting the company's financial solidity and overall investment strategy.[46]

“It’s a matter of time before problems emerge,” said Wang Zheng, the Shanghai-based chief investment officer at Jingxi Investment Management, which oversees a portfolio of about $300 million. It is avoiding LeEco shares, in part because of concerns over its financing strategy.[47] “The company is capital strapped,” said Dai Ming, a money manager at Hengsheng Asset Management in Shanghai.[48] FF suspended work on the Nevada site in November 2016 until the first $300 million of a recent $600 million funding comes through.[49][50][51] The delay caused criticism by Nevada officials,[52] which Yueting refuted.[53]

Among FF's financial challenges is providing surety for a $140 million loan when LeEco bought a $250 million piece of land in California from Yahoo.[54]

In late 2017, the then CFO Stefan Krause and CTO Ulrich Kranz departed Faraday Future, in a dispute with majority shareholder Jia Yueting over financing and the impending exhaustion of the cash supply. The two would then found Evelozcity in late 2017, a competing electric car maker, and poaching former Faraday Future employees. Jia Yueting then took over as CEO of the company, securing a round of financing, when the company was facing depleting their cash supply, and started paying off debts to suppliers. At the time, Jia Yueting himself was in debt trouble at home in China, with suppliers, creditors, and government, camping out at his Chinese company LeEco.[55] The new financing involved $1 billion USD for 25% of the outstanding shares in the company. In the followup to this round of financing, Jia had reiterated that the FF91 will come out on schedule, at the end of 2018.[56][57][58]

In early 2018, Faraday Future acquired $1.5 billion in funding from an undisclosed investor from Hong Kong. The $550 million of that was invested initially with the balance coming as the company met milestones.[59] There are reports that indicate the new lifeline entailed an agreement that used the company's assets as collateral.[60] By April 2018, Faraday Future secured a contract to build an assembly plant in a Guangzhou free zone area dedicated to the manufacture of smart equipment and new energy vehicles.

In a development a month later, which some believe is part of a continuing effort to raise fresh capital, the company announced the appointment of Michael Agosta as vice president of finance for North America. The new executive, who was the previous CFO of Ford Motor Company Middle East and Africa, took over Krause's work. The announcement is also seen as a commitment on the part of the organization to follow through on Jia Yueting's promise to produce its first EV, the FF 91, by 2018.[61] A recently leaked internal email sent by Jia Yueting showed that the vehicle is nearing delivery.[62] This confirms Agosta's prepared statement during his appointment where he said that "2018 is going to be an exceptional year for FF to deliver its first FF 91 to the market, and I will lead my team to make sure we are ready for this goal and beyond."[63]

In August 2018, Faraday Future received US$854 million from Evergrande Health for a 45% stake in the company.[64]

Motorsport[edit]

Faraday raced a “beta level development” FF 91 in the exhibition class race at the June 2017 annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado; the class also includes a performance-tuned Tesla Model S P100D.[65] (In 2016, a Tesla Model S P90D set the production EV course record.[66])

Formula E[edit]

Faraday Future joined the FIA Formula E Championship for electric-powered cars through a collaboration with the existing Dragon Racing team, also American, for the series' third season, beginning in October 2016.[67] Specifications for the car were released in November 2016.[68]

In August 2017, due to lack of cash, Faraday Future reduced its participation in Formula E. It was unable to maintain a sponsorship role in Dragon Racing, leading to the loss of the FF logo on their cars. Faraday Future said it would maintain a technical relationship with the team.[69] By November 2017, due to its cash-strapped state, Faraday Future dropped its partnership with Dragon Racing, exiting Formula E.[70]

Leadership and staff[edit]

Faraday Future is currently led by an executive team composed of:[71]

  • Jia Yueting - CEO
  • Nick Sampson - Senior Vice President of Product Strategy
  • Dag Reckhorn - Vice President of Global Manufacturing
  • Peter Savagian - Senior Vice President of Product Development
  • Pablo Ucar- Vice President of Supply Chain
  • Michael Agosta - Vice President of Finance, North America

In addition to the named executives, Faraday Future has reported that it has built a team from former Tesla[72] (130 people),[51] GM, Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW, Audi, Apple (60 people),[51] SpaceX, and Hulu employees.[73]

Models[edit]

Naming[edit]

Faraday Future's vehicles are named with an "FF" indicating Faraday Future followed by a two digit number. The first digit (10's place) indicates the market segment of the vehicle. A "9" would be top-of-the-range product for Faraday, with each number lower indicating a successively lower cost segment, except for "0", indicating a special car. When spelled-out as "zero", it indicates a concept car. The second digit (1's place) indicates successive iterations or generations in that segment.[74][75] Each element is pronounced separately, so that the FF91 is F-F-9-1 and not FF-ninety-one.[76]

FF ZERO 1[edit]

Front 3/4 view FFZERO1
Rear 3/4 view FFZERO1

The FFZERO1 concept vehicle was unveiled in 2016, at CES. The "Zero" spelling indicates the concept vehicle status, the "1" indicates the first such model.[74] The car was announced to have 1,000 hp (750 kW), a top speed over 200 mph (320 km/h), and a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time under 3 seconds. The car would have a glass roof, and a racecar style head and neck support system, with oxygen and water feeds to the driver's helmet. The car would have four electric motors, one for each wheel, and be a single seater.[77]

FF 01[edit]

The FF01 is a planned low-volume halo vehicle. The "0" indicates a halo car, and the "1" indicates the first such model.[74]

FF 91[edit]

The FF91 (F-F-9-1)[76] production model sedan was unveiled in 2017. The "9" indicates a top-of-the-line model, analogous to the Genesis G90 or Volvo S90. The "1" indicates the first model in this market segment.[74] This large XUV is to have a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of 2.4s, 130 kWh (470 MJ) battery pack, giving a range of 289 mi (465 km). The rear doors are to be suicide doors, and all four doors would open automatically, like similar Tesla Motors vehicles. Also like Teslas, there is a large infotainment screen in the middle of the front dash console. It would also similarly have a limited autonomous driving mode. The FF91 would be equipped with smartphone app car access and key capability and facial recognition door locks.[78]

In August 2018, the company completed the first pre-production FF 91.[79]

FF 81[edit]

The FF81 is planned to be unveiled in 2018. It is to be a mid-sized SUV for the Chinese market.[75][80]

701-EV[edit]

2017 FF Spark-Penske 701-EV

The Faraday Future Dragon Racing Penske 701-EV for the 2016-2017 Formula E season, is an all-electric open-wheel open-cockpit battery-electric racecar for the Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team, a collaboration between Faraday Future and Dragon Racing, a team founded by Jay Penske (son of autosports elder statesman Roger Penske).[81]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]