Variable Platform Architecture, future-forward technology, super smart features – the auto tech startup’s ambitions are eye-watering. But it’s almost ten years since Faraday Future laid their plans. Will we see their first car in the market soon? Here’s a quick round-up of the past, present, and future promises from the EV maker.
Chinese businessman Jia Yueting founded Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc in 2014. The Los Angeles-based electric vehicle startup has its headquarters in Harbor Gateway near Carson, CA. Their production unit, called the FF ieFactory California, is in Hanford. Although it is almost a decade old, Faraday Future is yet to deliver its first production model – FF91, originally planned to hit the streets in 2017.
Over the years, the cash-strapped EV maker has courted many controversies, including massive layoffs and walkouts by top executives. It continues to struggle with financial stability to date, as the latest from Faraday Future says they’ll need another couple of months to deliver the much-awaited FF91s. Though the car rolled out of production in April ’23, the company cites supply chain issues, inadequate funding, and necessary crash tests as the cause for the delay.
So, what happened at Faraday Future? And what can you look forward to when their first luxury electric car finally reaches the market?
What does Faraday Future do?
The startup developed Variable Platform Architecture – an innovative design approach allowing varied battery configurations and body styles. The plan was to use it to produce a large range of fully electric automobiles. They are focused on developing intelligent high-value EVs.
Faraday Future is expected to launch its first production model – the FF91 – in 2017. However, financial issues and internal disputes waylaid the plans. As the production delays continued, the company also expressed interest in exploring other aspects of auto and tech – such as autonomous driving, in-vehicle content, alternative ownership, and usage models.
In 2019, Faraday Future announced that they’ll develop minivans in partnership with The9, a Chinese video game company. However, the V9 minivans are exclusively for the Chinese market.
Did You Know?
Faraday Future is named after Faraday’s law of induction – the founding principle of electric motor technology. The law itself gets its name from Michael Faraday, the English scientist who discovered electromagnetic induction.
The Faraday Future logo is also quite catchy. It’s an arrow… no, it’s a fish! But graphic designers will tell you it’s two tilted F? The FF represents the company name, and the arrow/fish shape is likely a metaphor for upward movement. Clever enough for a Tesla rival?
Is Faraday a Chinese company?
Faraday Future was founded by Jia Yueting – a Chinese businessman and billionaire. But it is a California-based company and is listed on Nasdaq.
Jia stepped down as CEO in 2019 but is still a major shareholder. Xuefeng Chen is Faraday Future’s current Global CEO, with Matthias Aydt as the Senior VP. Board members include Chad Chen, Sheng Jie, Adam He, Tin Mok, and Ke Sun.
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Has Faraday Future produced any cars?
Faraday Future revealed their concept car – the FFZERO1 – at the US Consumer Electronics Show in 2016. The single-seater sports car with 1000 hp and a top speed of 200 mph would have a glass roof, racecar-like head/neck support, four electric motors, etc. But these specs were not valid as the display was only a Styrofoam and clay model. The company did not give any specific production schedules either.
Other models the company announced were a low-volume halo vehicle (FF01) and a mid-sized SUV for the Chinese market (FF81). But neither made it to the market as the company expected. FF91 – Faraday Future’s high-end all-electric crossover car is the only model that has seen some progress and is almost ready to hit the market.
How are the cars named?
All Faraday Future model names start with “FF,” representing the brand name, followed by two digits. The first digit indicates the market segment – the larger the number value, the higher the segment. So, 9 indicates top-line models. The second digit represents the generation. For example, the FF91 is a first-gen luxury electric vehicle from Faraday Future.
0 is reserved for exceptional models – special cars we will hopefully see. When it is a concept car, the 0 is spelled out as “ZERO,” like in the case of FFZERO1.
How fast is the Faraday Future FF91?
The luxury electric SUV is Faraday Future’s first production model and claims an acceleration rate of 0-60 in just 2.4 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. It comes with a 130-kWh battery pack with a 381 miles/charge range.
Learn more about FF91 features and specs here.
How much will the FF 91 cost?
Though the FF91 price is pending confirmation, Faraday founder Jia Yueting says the company wants to position its first all-electric SUV in the “high-value user market.” So, the speculations are around $150K – $200K.
According to electrek.co, FF91 preorders have two tiers: FF 91 Futurist Alliance ($5000) and FF 91 Futurist ($1500). Faraday claims to have sold out the Futurist Alliance tier, but the lower-priced tier is still open. When the company revealed the luxury EV, it received over 60K reservations in the first 36 hours. But reports later showed that most of these were unpaid hand raises. The company recently claimed only 401 paid preorders and 14k unpaid ones.
What happened to Faraday Future?
A lot has happened since the initial buzz Faraday Future created in 2014-15 and earning the Tesla-rival tag. The ex-employees and a few government officials began raising doubts about the startup’s finances in 2016. Soon, financial analysts started to question the overall investment strategy and stability. The company suspended work at its Nevada site in late 2016.
A New Competitor
CFO Stefan Krause and CTO Ulrich Kranz stepped down in 2017 after a dispute with Jia Yueting over an impending cash shortage. It was the first of the many significant setbacks, as Krause and Kranz soon launched a rival EV brand – Evelozcity (now called Canoo) – and poached many Faraday employees.
However, Jia managed to secure a round of funding and took over as CEO of Faraday Future. Things were back on track with an undisclosed Hong Kong investor making a $1.5 billion commitment. Former Ford Motors (Middle East & Africa) CFO Michael Agosta also came on board as the new VP of finance.
Layoffs & Restructuring
After failing to secure an $854 million deal with Evergrande Group, Faraday Future announced layoffs and salary cuts. Senior VP Peter Savagian and co-founder Nick Sampson resigned in protest, but massive layoffs continued due to financial pressure in 2018. Though a 50-50 joint venture with Chinese game operator The9 succeeded in 2019, more Faraday employees received pink slips. The company cited restructuring as an explanation for reducing employees.
New CEO & Nasdaq
Jia Yueting stepped down from Faraday’s CEO position after filing for personal bankruptcy. Former Byton CEO Carsten Breitfeld took over the role, while Jia moved on as the Chief Product and User Officer (CPUO).
In January 2021, Faraday Future announced a US$3.4 billion reverse merger with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp to go public, and the company got listed on Nasdaq in July. Last year, in March, the SEC subpoenaed several Faraday management team members for making inaccurate statements to investors. Consequently, Xuefeng Chen replaced Breitfeld in November 2022.
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Why is FF91 delayed?
The latest announcement from Faraday confirms that parts and cash shortages will delay the FF91 Futurist deliveries by another two months. The company is down to $30 million in cash, and the flagship EV also has pending crash tests. The supply-chain issues are a continued effect of the recent pandemic.
According to the current plans, customers who paid in full should start receiving their preordered FF91s by the end of June 2023. The first car has already rolled out of production on April 15.
Faraday Future is also planning to open its Beverly Hills store in 2023. Sales efforts will start in LA and San Franciso, followed by New York, Shanghai, and Beijing.
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