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FF 91 - Faraday Future
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Faraday Future

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    • Guest
      By Guest
      Faraday Future, an LA-based EV startup backed primarily by Chinese investors, announced that it has leased a former tire factory in Hanford, California, to produce its new EV with self-driving capability.
      The new Faraday Future production plant is a one million square-foot space that used to house a Pirelli Tire plant, which shut down almost 15 years ago. Faraday hopes to use this space to churn out its luxury FF91 vehicle, described by the company as a crossover sport utility and multi-purpose car.
      Krause, Faraday’s CEO, said the company wants to release a car with self-driving capability, with hardware like cameras and sensors, similar to Tesla’s models that are being produced now. When autonomous vehicles are allowed by US regulations, the corresponding software for self-driving in the FF91 will be activated.

      “We wanted to build an electric car, but also a connected car — a car that will contain artificial intelligence and be self driving,” Krause told The Business Journal. “So our car will have a technology advantage over many of the existing cars today.”
      The Faraday Future production plant will be the first for the startup, which started in April 2014. The FF91 was revealed at the US Consumer Electronics Show in January 2017, receiving over 60,000 reservations in the first 36 hours. Tesla only had 520 reservations in the same time when its unveiled the Model S in 2009, but raked in over 250,000 reservations for the Model 3 in its first 36 hours.
      The company claims the car will have a range of up to 378 miles on a fully-charged lithium-cobalt battery. Krause told The Business Journal that production in the new factory will begin mid-2018. He hopes to employ around 600 people and produce up to 6,000 cars in the facility’s first year, ramping up production after that. The company has stayed mum on the price range of the vehicle, but according to a recent USA Today visit to the company’s HQ, the FF91 is similar to Lucid Motors’ proposed $160,000 EV.
      Faraday’s employees have already begun putting their mark on the new space, painting the company’s logos and colors onto the old tire plant. Hanford’s City Manager, Darrel Pyle, hopes the factory will infuse new job opportunities into the city. Tesla’s Gigafactory in Reno has shown how such an EV plant can benefit its city.
      “I can imaging everything from people pushing a broom to engineers, electricians, accounting people, marketing people, [human resources] people, transit people, computer-aided drafting — those kinds of careers that are so in desire for young people going to college,” Pyle told The Business Journal.
      Krause commented on Tesla’s release of the Model 3 in relation to Faraday Future’s announcement in an interview with USA Today.
      “There is a value to being second to Tesla, it’s a good market position. At BMW, we were an endless second to Mercedes-Benz, until we beat them,” the former BMW CFO said. The Model 3 “is another bold move from Tesla, and I really admire them for this. I hope all the EV companies do well, because it’s important to get the word out.”
    • Guest
      By Guest
      California-based automotive startup and EV hopeful, Faraday Future, has begun to distance itself from any association with principal financier LeEco as the company seeks funding to support production of its 1000+ horsepower FF 91 electric crossover.
      “Technically, there is no legal relationship with LeEco,” Krause told CNET’s Tim Stevens in an interview. “They are in one part of our business. They are a supplier and if we would lose them as a supplier there are many suppliers.”
      Krause also noted that should LeEco cease to exist in the near future, investors and employees alike need not fear as they are two completely different companies.

      The statement by Faraday’s executive follows reports that LeEco has been on thin ice for months. Since the resignation of former CEO and source of the bulk of Faraday’s initial funding, Jia Yeuting (also known as YT), LeEco has laid off nearly 70 percent of its US workforce, and was even called a “Ponzi Scheme” by Chinese internet giant Tencent co-founder Zeng Liqing.
      “If you’re not able to spot an apparent Ponzi scheme [like LeEco], you’re neither worthy of working in the investment industry nor suitable for entrepreneurship,” Zeng said in a lengthy post on Chinese social media platform WeChat.
      Despite its financial woes, Faraday COO and CFO Stefan Krause remains optimistic, resilient and confident in the company’s endeavors. Faraday continues to detangle themselves from LeEco.
      Shifting away from the toxicity of their former financier, Faraday now looks to keep pace with their proposed production schedule of their first production crossover, the FF 91. In the wake of suspending their construction of a Nevada production facility, Faraday recently leased an ex-Pirelli tire plant in Hanford, CA for the production site of the FF 91.
      It’s no secret that the EV industry is an exciting and potentially lucrative space to be investing, that’s why Faraday remains resilient in their funding efforts. Faraday still seeks an additional $1 billion in funding to continue development of the FF91, and Krause remains steadfast in his efforts.
      “I’ve not had a single investor say no,” Krause said. “Nobody doubts that this industry has a great future. We are not in a dying industry, I think we are in the right place at the right time. We just have to battle a financial weakness right now.”
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