We’re not sure what metaphor to use for Faraday Future. Is it the little car company that could? Or is it the boy who cried wolf? The company opened up shop with splashy announcements in 2014, headed by Jia Yueting, a man at the time called “China’s Steve Jobs,” promising vehicle connectivity so powerful it would turn the car into a “third Internet living space.” The product debut began with the FFZERO1 electric race car at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show and a tie-up with LeTV, China’s version of Netflix. Real production-intent debuted at CES 2017 with the FF 91 electric crossover, the company by then being referred to as “the next Tesla.” Three years of public troubles and reversals followed. But now, thanks to an earlier $900-million funding round and just-concluded SPAC reverse merger with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp., Faraday Future is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The mechanism provides nearly $1 billion in funding.
CEO Dr. Carsten Breitfeld said, “We have been able to convince the capital market that this is a different company now, a company which can deliver a serious business plan,” adding, “But now we have to deliver, and this is absolutely key.” Part of being a different company is having a different name while retaining all the EV segment buzzwords. The listed company is called Faraday Future Intelligent Electric, Inc., the stocks under the ticker FFIE, the warrants under FFIEW. We’re told that “I stands for Intelligent and Internet, E stands for Ecosystem and Electric.” It calls its global partners — the company is based in California and China — the “Futurist Alliance.”
The lean years haven’t dimmed Faraday Future’s knack for aiming high. It opened reservations for two versions of the initial FF 91. The penthouse model is the FF 91 Futurist Alliance Edition that can only be reserved by company invitation for a $5,000 deposit, will be limited to 300 examples, and will cost about $180,000, roughly $11,000 more than the Lucid Air’s Dream Edition. Those who fork over will get membership in the Futurist Alliance as well as Spire Club membership and “next generation product upgrade privileges.” The FF 91 Futurist model can be reserved by anyone for just $1,500, we don’t know how much it will cost. Around 14,000 reservations have been made for the FF 91, but it’s not clear how many of those are for the latest incarnations.
Faraday never got to build the giant Nevada facility it had planned, but does own an old Pirelli tire factory in Hanford, California it has almost finished converting to produce 30,000 vehicles per year. The startup only plans to make 2,400 cars next year. After that, however, with the lower-cost FF 81 and a delivery vehicle scheduled for 2023 and the FF 71 in 2024 in the pipeline, it plans to build 38,600 cars in 2023 and get to more than 300,000 vehicles by 2025. Lucid, by comparison, has 125,000 units penciled in for its 2025 production year. Faraday has manufacturing connections in China through shareholder Geely and in South Korea and would tap those for the six-figure years.
Should the FF 91 really show in 2022, it will bring a three-motor drivetrain with 1,050 horsepower fueled by a 130-kWh battery able to power the living room on wheels to 60 miles per hour in 2.4 seconds. We drove it at CES last year and said it felt like no other car we’ve ever been in. Back then, Faraday Future had planned on production beginning by the end of 2020, reminding us there are a lot of “ifs” between now and a real Futurist Alliance. Speaking of which, the FF 91 Futurist Alliance Edition is sold out, but reservations for the FF 91 Futurist remain open with promises that the wider production FF 91 is also coming soon.