The company wants to start building cars as soon as 2017
Tesla may get the notoriety as the leader of the electric vehicle revolution, but there are some other serious players about to come into the fray. Faraday Futures is the brain-child of Jia Yueting, a Chinese billionaire looking to make a $1 billion investment in an american factory that will produce its first electric car.
We’ve covered Faraday in the past, citing that the company wants to start building cars as soon as 2017. The Gardena, California-based startup is one step closer to that, and according to the UK's Telegraph, they are eyeing various locations for their factory. Jia Yueting is founder/chairman of Leshi Television, popular Chinese video website. Despite their notable founder, the company is quite secretive, and it was only this week that Chaoying Deng was revealed as CEO. Faraday is just one of a slew of Chinese companies looking to take advantage of American engineering and design talent. The others are Atieva and Karma Automotive LLC. Faraday is largely following a development model that is closer to that of Telsa than the rest of the industry. It should come as little surprise that the company's senior VP Nick Sampson came over from Tesla. Specifically, he ran the chassis and vehicle engineering team for the Model S. Before that he worked at sports car company Lotus. Another Tesla employee that recently joined the team was Dag Reckhorn, who was a Tesla senoir marketing executive. Faraday has welcomed key employees hailing from all over the industry, including from BMW and General Motors.
But with gas prices as low as they have been, demand for electric cars has not dissipated, at least for now. Traditional automakers such as General Motors and Nissan have lost money on hybrids and EVs since prices have fallen, and Tesla alone has lost $1.9 billion since 2007. But Faraday hopes its unique driving experience will bode will for the company. The combination of car sharing and autonomous driving opens an opportunity for smartphone-like subscriptions that can be offered to the occupants while the car is in motion.
While the company’s offices are located in Gardena, it is eyeing potential locations elsewhere in California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada for its production facilities. One potential location is North Las Vegas, where plummeting property values contributed to the city declaring a state of emergency in 2012. Such a facility in Nevada’s third largest city could bring back some desperately needed revenue. Faraday would not be the first EV maker to set up shop in Nevada. Tesla chose land east of Reno for its Gigafactory, where it will build lithium-ion batteries. It was guaranteed tax breaks worth as much as $1.3 billion, and it plans to spend $10 billion over the next decade and a half. Faraday is no Tesla, but for its part, wherever the $1 billion investment is eventually made, it will make a sizable impact on that local community.