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Faraday Future Insists it Isn’t Going Away

New plan calls for leaner management, second product, even an IPO – if it can stay in business long enough.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.14, 2018

In better days: Jia Yueting and Nick Sampson, helped unveil the FF91 at the 2016 CES.

Only a matter of weeks ago, battery-carmaker Faraday Future seemed ready to turn out the lights, co-founder Nick Sampson resigning and then declaring in a blog post that the company was “effectively insolvent.” But, despite a seemingly endless series of crises, including one that forced it to cancel a planned assembly plant in Nevada, Faraday’s new management team continue to project a surprisingly bullish take on their future.

Late Tuesday, in fact, the California-based company released a statement outlining its plans for the future, which included a new, “lean management” structure, and “fortified product plans” that not only include the original FF91 supercar but a second, more mainstream crossover.

Breaking News!

Of course, there is the minor issue of finding the necessary cash. Faraday’s latest crisis was kicked off when China’s Evergrande Health Industry Group backed out of a deal that was supposed to generate as much as $2 billion in capital. For the moment, the automaker says it is on the hunt for $500 million to get it back on track.

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Faraday Future “Effectively Insolvent,” Says Co-Founder

Battery-carmaker confirms second round of job cuts.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.31, 2018

Nick Sampson, (r), one of the Faraday Future founders, is shown with investor Jia Yueting, (l) at the debut of the FF91 concept in January 2016.

The California-based battery-car company Faraday Future is “effectively insolvent,” according to co-founder Nick Sampson who resigned on Tuesday.

His departure comes as the once-promising company prepares for a second round of mass layoffs, a Faraday spokesman advised TheDetroitBureau.com late Tuesday evening. Faraday had already laid off a sizable number of its approximately 1,300 employees last week as it struggled to find enough cash to continue operating.

Breaking News!

“There is a furlough pending,” said spokesman Jacob Brown, adding that Faraday needs to take “drastic measures, but the executive team wants to keep the company running.”

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Faraday Future Lines Up New Factory in CA

Move follows decision to abandon $1b plant in Nevada.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.07, 2017

More than 300 Faraday workers gathered at the plant last weekend to help clean it up.

Reports of Faraday Future’s demise, as Mark Twain might have suggested, have been greatly exaggerated. Or so the Chinese-funded battery-carmaker wants us to believe.

Faraday has seemed on the verge of extinction for some time, “temporarily” halting work on its $1 billion Nevada assembly plant last year and then, barely a month ago walking away from the project entirely.

Stay Plugged In!

But Faraday on Monday announced it has lined up a new factory to produce the FF91 battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, it unveiled in January. The new site is a one-time Pirelli tire plant in Hanford, California that has largely sat idle since 2001.

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Faraday Future Abandons $1 Bil Nevada Plant Project

EV start-up now planning to find alternative production site.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jul.11, 2017

Officials dug in at the May 2016 groundbreaking ceremony for what was to be a $1b plant.

Financially struggling battery-electric automaker Faraday Future will cancel plans to build a $1 billion assembly complex in the Nevada desert near Las Vegas, raising further questions about the start-up’s long-term future – and costing about 4,500 planned U.S. jobs.

Construction work at the plant has been on hold since last November and the company has been hit by legal claims from vendors who say they have not been paid. The latest setback comes days after a court in Shanghai reportedly froze some of the assets of Jia Yueting. The tech billionaire has been a key backer of both Faraday and another EV start-up, LeEco.

Come Along for the Ride!

But Faraday officials insist their company will move forward on plans to produce a long-range, high-performance electric vehicle, the FF91, which was unveiled at a splashy news conference in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show last January.

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Faraday Wants to Redefine the Future with Debut of FF91

Even the best laid plans can go astray.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.04, 2017

The Faraday Future FF91 makes its debut during a well-attended event in Las Vegas.

The Future doesn’t always go as planned. Just ask YT Jia, the Chinese billionaire investor backing Faraday Future. That’s the California-based start-up that pulled the wraps off its new battery-electric supercar during a splashy, two-hour presentation in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.

Intentionally looking like it rolled off the set of a science fiction film, Faraday’s new FF91 battery-powered crossover certainly sounds impressive. It boasts more than 1,000 horsepower – enough to launch from 0 to 60 in less than 2.5 seconds. Yet it can also deliver an estimated 378 miles per charge. It also has the ability to drive hands-free, thanks to an array of radar, laser and other sensors. And, with a touch of button will let you get out and then go look for a parking spot on its own.

Your Crystal Ball to the Future!

“It’s a vehicle that doesn’t require any sacrifice,” declared Pete Savagian, Faraday’s director of propulsion engineering. “Never has it been more convenient to drive completely electric.”

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Lucid Air Pushes Price, Range, Performance into Stratosphere

400 miles per charge, 0-60 in 2.5 seconds...for $160,000.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.16, 2016

The Lucid Air will be one of the world's fastest automobiles, the company promises.

It’s getting to the point where you can’t tell the new battery-car start-ups without a scorecard, California-based Lucid Motors the latest to charge onto the field.

Where a growing number of new and more established entrants into the EV market plan to target the mainstream, Lucid Motors is going after the extreme luxury segment with the Lucid Air sedan it unveiled this week, a vehicle that company officials are likening to “a private jet on four wheels.”

Get Charged Up!

It’s nearly as fast, the 1,000-horsepower battery-electric vehicle set to launch from 0 to 60 in as little as 2.5 seconds – or even faster than a Tesla Model S in Ludicrous Mode. The Lucid Air also boasts about 25% more range than the new Model S P90d, as much as 400 miles per charge. And, at $160,000 for a fully loaded version, it will be a fair bit more expensive than a top-end Tesla.

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Faraday Future Set to Reveal First Car at CES

LeEco’s autonomous debut short-circuited when its car wouldn’t run.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.20, 2016

The LeEco LeSee concept.

Tesla Motors isn’t the only automotive upstart attempting to make news about electric and autonomous vehicles. Several potential competitors have their own, futuristic models to reveal – though, as Chinese-owned LeEco demonstrated Wednesday, there are plenty of pitfalls along the path.

With billionaire investor Jia Yueting on hand for a public unveiling in San Francisco, LeEco’s event went off the rails when the LeSee, its prototype autonomous electric vehicle, couldn’t drive down the runway, forcing Jia to run down the ramp on his own.

Plug In!

Jia, who made a fortune in the Chinese electronics industry, is clearly hoping to do better with a second automotive start-up he is funding, California-based Faraday Future. That company made its debut last January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and will be back at the 2017 CES in less than three months to unveil its first production model.

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Mysterious Faraday Future Takes a Step Closer to Reality

Chinese-owned battery-carmaker signs up Korean battery supplier.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.04, 2016

The Faraday Future FF Zero1 concept made its debut at CES Las Vegas last January.

Faraday Future, the mysterious, Chinese-owned automotive start-up, has taken a critical step closer to getting something on the road.

Based in the old Nissan headquarters in suburban Los Angeles, Faraday has signed up the Korean-owned LG Chem to provide the lithium-ion batteries that will power its planned line-up of electric vehicles. LG Chem is the same battery supplier used for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Chevy Bolt battery-electric vehicle.

Electrifying!

“LG Chem worked closely with Faraday Future to develop a tailored cell chemistry to optimize the range and safety of our mass production battery hardware,” said Tom Wessner, Faraday Future’s vice president of global supply chain.

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Karma Set to Build Renamed Battery Car in the U.S.

Plug-in hybrid now dubbed the Karma Revero.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Apr.26, 2016

The original Fisker Karma relied on a 2.0-liter I-4 range extender gas engine from GM.

The recently reborn Fisker Automotive will formally unveil its revived battery vehicle this coming summer, but both car and carmaker will be carrying a new name.

Now owned by Chinese auto parts company Wanxiang Group, Fisker has now been christened Karma Automotive, picking its name up from the plug-in hybrid vehicle it was building before its 2012 bankruptcy. That battery car will now be known as the Revero.

Stay Charged Up!

The original Fisker Karma cost around $110,000, around the same price as a well-equipped version of the current Tesla Model S P85d battery-electric vehicle. The company’s new, California-based management team isn’t saying when the new model will go on sale, nor what it will cost, Chief Marketing Officer Jim Taylor cautioning that, “We are being careful about making promises.” But the goal is to start taking orders over the summer.

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Tesla, BMW Lose Key Battery-Car Talent

Apple and Chinese start-up Future Mobility go poaching.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Apr.20, 2016

Several key members of the BMW i team, including the head of i8 development, have bolted.

It still refuses to acknowledge any plans to develop a car of its own, but consumer electronics giant Apple has reportedly been poaching a number of auto industry veterans for what is believed to be known internally as Project Titan – and that now includes a senior Tesla executive.

Chris Porritt, a one-time Aston Martin designer, had been more recently working at Tesla, helping in the development of its two current products, the Models S and X, as well as the upcoming Model 3 battery-electric sedan. According reports in several Silicon Valley publications, Porritt will now serve at Apple as Special Projects Group PD Administrator.

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Porritt, however, isn’t the only battery-car executive jumping ship. German automaker BMW has reportedly lost a number of key members from the team that developed it i3 and i8 electric vehicles. The group, which includes Carsten Breitfeld, leader of the team behind the i8 plug-in sports car, will now work on EV development for the Chinese-funded start-up Future Mobility Corp.

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