Archive for the ‘Faraday Future’ Category

Faraday Future raises $14m, leases old factory for future electric car line

August 7th, 2017

Enlarge / Faraday Future’s rendering of the refurbished Hanford factory. (credit: Faraday Future)

Faraday Future announced on Monday that it has signed a lease on a turn-key manufacturing facility in Hanford, California, south of Fresno. The company has been hyping its plans to build a luxury electric vehicle called the FF 91 that would compete with high-end Teslas, but it has struggled with funding and production. Faraday recently pulled out of plans to build a massive factory north of Las Vegas as well as plans to negotiate a deal for another new factory location in Vallejo, California.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Faraday Future received an emergency loan from an investment firm to the tune of $13.75 million, using a claim to the company’s Gardena, California, headquarters as collateral. The company will need to raise millions more to deliver market-ready FF 91s by the end of next year, as it has promised to do. Stefan Krause, Faraday Future’s Chief Operating Officer, told the Times that having an assembly line will attract additional investors, as it “makes it more real” for them.

The warehouse being leased was originally a tire factory, first built by Armstrong Rubber Co. in 1962 and purchased by Italian tire maker Pirelli in 1985. Pirelli shut the factory down in 2001 for economic reasons, and tenants have been various since then, most recently a potential pot-growing operation.

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Electric vehicle hopeful has been reneging on factories it hasn’t yet built

August 1st, 2017

Enlarge / Faraday’s FF91 design is somewhat derivative, echoing the Jaguar F-Pace and evoking a latter-day Saab SUV, had the company not died before designing its own proper one.
(credit: Jim Resnick)

In early 2016, electric vehicle company Faraday Future celebrated a deal with the state of Nevada—in exchange for building a $1 billion factory that would eventually employ up to 4,500 people, the company would get $335 million in tax cuts from the state.

Later that year, Faraday Future negotiated another deal on a former Navy shipyard in Vallejo, California. There, the electric vehicle company would build a second factory and a “customer experience center.”

Now, neither of those two projects is happening as planned. In March, Faraday Future said it would not move forward with the Vallejo site and told investors that it would be cutting its billion-dollar Nevada site down considerably, from a three-million-square-foot facility to a 650,000-square-foot facility. Earlier this month, the Le Eco-backed startup said it wouldn’t be building on the Nevada site at all, opting to put a base at a smaller site in either California or Nevada. It will, however, hold the property it bought at the site for “long-term vehicle manufacturing,” according to the Nevada Independent.

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Revealing the Future: Faraday debuts its FF91

January 4th, 2017

Jim Resnick

Financially beleaguered and lacking two top executives—who left just before the end of the year—Faraday Future unveiled its first actual electric car at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Calling it “a new species” that “reformats the future,” the FF91 (“nine-one”) has a name which will confuse rather than clarify, but the critical numbers are impressive.

Faraday claims the FF91 will have the biggest electric drive system at 130kW of energy (using cells provided by LG Chem but packaged by Faraday). The greatest range, at a minimum of 378 miles using the EPA’s protocol (700km on the EU cycle) before needing a charge. And a power output of 783kW (equivalent to 1,050hp). Charging is important to Faraday, too, and an open charging strategy across networks works at 1.5, 10, and 15kW power levels, though the fastest DC charging will operate over 200kW.

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Faraday Future targets Ferrari, Tesla and Bentley with a new teaser

December 12th, 2016

Enlarge (credit: Faraday Future)

Faraday Future, set to reveal its first production model at CES in just under a month, has left little doubt as to its ambition with its latest teaser video. The company no doubt hopes to avoid a repeat of last year’s underwhelming visit to Las Vegas, when hordes of tech journalists expecting a Tesla rival found a concept car instead. Leading up to this year’s event, the company has been setting expectations with a series of short teasers of a camouflaged prototype car in testing. The most recent shows us that Faraday is aiming high, with the new EV benchmarked against Bentley, Ferrari, and Tesla.

That means we can probably forget the idea of Faraday Future exploiting some new niche in the EV marketplace. No, we think the new electric SUV is gunning straight for the Tesla Model X, a vehicle that’s both bonkers-fast and also rather practical. And we think the inclusion of Bentley’s Bentayga as another rival means a more upmarket interior than the rather barebones Tesla.

However, we still don’t even know the name of the production car, nor an expected price, how long it will take to charge, or pretty much anything concrete. And although we asked for a sneak-peek before CES, it seems like everyone else we shall have to wait until January 3rd to find out the answers to those questions.

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Faraday Future gives us our first look at its electric SUV

October 28th, 2016

Richard Kim, Faraday Future global design director, left, poses for a photo with Ding Lei, co-founder, global vice chairman, managing director, SEE Pland, Letv, second left, and Nick Sampson, VP of R&D and Engineering at FFZERO1 pre-CES reveal event in Las Vegas on Monday, January 4, 2016. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ AP Images for Faraday Future) (credit: AP)

Back in January at CES, we got our first introduction to Faraday Future. It’s an electric vehicle manufacturer that aims to take on Tesla (as well as the rest of the auto industry) with a family of long-range EVs built on a common platform. The LA-based startup—backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting—met with a slightly underwhelming response at CES when the company showed us a concept EV hypercar, but now we’ve had our first glimpse of its first consumer product, seen being tested on track.

As is usual in the case of pre-production vehicles, the EV is heavily disguised, so we can’t infer too much about the styling, but the company told Ars we can expect to see more leading up to an official reveal at CES in January 2017.

The company also joined forces with Dragon Racing in Formula E this season, and one of its drivers (Jerome D’Ambrosio) finished seventh in the opening round of the championship earlier this month. For this season, Faraday Future will help Dragon Racing with software development for the team’s race cars, but next season we expect the cars to run with Faraday Future’s motor/generator units and inverters as well. Several companies with EV R&D programs are now represented in the racing series, using it as a testbed for their technology.

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Electric car startup Faraday Future partners with Dragon Racing for Formula E

July 1st, 2016

Faraday Future released these images of what a Dragon Racing vehicle might possibly look like in the next series and beyond.

Friday morning, officials from electric car startup Faraday Future and American auto racing team Dragon Racing announced a technical partnership to get Dragon Racing through the next four Formula E race series. The partnership begins with Formula E’s third series, which starts October 9, 2016.

In a press conference in London just before Formula E’s ePrix competition, Dragon Racing Team Owner and Team Principal Jay Penske said his team was looking forward to taking advantage of Faraday Future’s intellectual property. Penske cited the startup’s Los Angeles-based team of more than 1,000 people and its portfolio of more than 320 patents.

Faraday Future has attracted some attention as a potential competitor to Tesla as a from-scratch luxury electric vehicle designer. The company revealed a concept car at Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show this year, but since then it has provided scant news of what an actual production vehicle would look like. The lack of reveals has drawn criticism regarding whether Faraday can actually compete against companies like Tesla, GM, and Nissan that have already been producing road-ready electric vehicles for years.

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Ars talks car design with Faraday Future at CES

January 7th, 2016

(video link)

LAS VEGAS—On the Monday night before CES kicked off properly, several hundred journalists and VIPs assembled under a purple-lit tent in a vacant lot to witness the reveal of a new electric vehicle from a startup called Faraday Future. The company, flush with cash thanks to the owner of LeTV (think Chinese Netflix) had touted the event for some time, promising to show us what it called a “Tesla-killer.”

As it turned out, the car underneath the sheet wasn’t actually a Model S rival, nor will it be going into production. Rather, we saw a race-inspired concept called the FF Zero 1, a 1000-hp electric vehicle that the company chose to show instead. As you can see in the video above, the following day we sat down with Richard Kim, Faraday Future’s head of design, to talk about the car.

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