Faraday Future To Invest $1B In US EV Manufacturing Facility – Backed By LeTV Founder?

2 years ago by Mark Kane 36

Faraday Future: Our world class creative team made up of designers from BMW, Audi, Ferrari, and Lamborghini — led by Richard Kim.

Faraday Future: Our world class creative team made up of designers from BMW, Audi, Ferrari, and Lamborghini — led by Richard Kim.

Faraday Future: This body is really shaping up. Stay tuned.

Faraday Future: This body is really shaping up. Stay tuned.

California-based Faraday Future (FF) is a new electric car start-up who is not only developing an all-new model in the U.S., but also intends to invest $1 billion (in the first phase) to build a production facility in U.S.

In the coming weeks, Faraday Future will decide and announce where the production site will be located in one out of four considered states – California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada.

Beside EVs, FF plans to explore other aspects of the automotive and technology industries, including unique ownership and usage models, in-vehicle content and autonomous driving.

Nick Sampson, senior vice president of Faraday Future said:

“We are very excited to make our $1 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing — and this is just phase one. Selecting the right location for the future FF manufacturing facility is critical to our overall goals. Producing our forward-looking and fully-connected electric vehicles not only requires the latest technology, but the right community partner,”

“With energy constraints, urban crowding, and the increasingly intrinsic relationship we have with technology, today’s cars simply do not meet today’s needs. Our range of 100% electric and intelligent vehicles will offer seamless connectivity to the outside world.”

According to the press release, Faraday Future already gathered together a global team of more than 400 automotive and technology experts.

A lot of former Tesla Motors employees joined FF, as well as BMW i Lead Designer:

  • Nick Sampson, Senior Vice President – Former Director of Vehicle & Chassis Engineering, Tesla Motors
  • Dag Reckhorn, Vice President of Global Manufacturing – Former Director of Manufacturing, Tesla Model S
  • Alan Cherry, Vice President of Human Resources – Former Senior Director, Human Resources, Tesla Motors
  • Tom Wessner, Vice President of Supply Chain – Former Director of Purchasing, Tesla Motors
  • Richard Kim, Head of Design – Founding member of BMW i Design and Lead Designer, i3 and i8 concepts

FF’s goal is to develop and introduce on the market all-electric cars. The first model is expected in 2017.

According to the LA Times, Faraday Future is backed by a Chinese multi-billionaire :

“The company declined to identify its ownership and investors, but a review of incorporation papers filed with the California secretary of state’s office links Faraday to a Chinese media company operated by Jia Yueting, an entrepreneur who founded Leshi Internet Information & Technology.

Jia is worth $7 billion, according to Forbes, which ranked him as China’s 17th richest person. He recently launched a line of smartphones and acquired a 70% stake in Yidao Yongche, an Uber-like car service in China.

The papers list Chaoying Deng, the woman who runs a Leshi affiliate in the U.S., as Faraday’s chief executive. Earlier this year, Jia told the Wall Street Journal that he wanted to develop a car that would rival Tesla.”

Le Car

Le Car

Well, Jia Yueting is the founder and CEO of LeTV (also known as the “Netflix of China”), who, as described two months ago, intends to present the electric car in 2016 at the Beijing Auto Show in April.

The other smoking gun behind LeTV/Yueting behind Faraday Future is the company’s listed addess online – 18455 S. Figueroa St., Gardena, California.  A building owned by LeTV, purchased last year for just over $13 million dollars.

But there’s another twist on this story.  Apparently, Faraday Future may somehow be connected to Apple and the Apple electric car. It seems there’s some evidence to try to make this connection, but it still seems a bit sketchy to us. Check it out here.

The plan is to offer high-end car and later move more mass market (sound familiar?).

We at InsideEVs have our doubts about Faraday surrounding some of its investment claims and expected release dates for future EVs (on the road in 2017), but we wish them the best and would certainly welcome another U.S. manufacturer of pure electric cars.

Source: LA Times

Faraday Future website.

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36 responses to "Faraday Future To Invest $1B In US EV Manufacturing Facility – Backed By LeTV Founder?"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    By golly. I bet this is correct. Look where all the execs come from. There was a lot of press about Apple stealing Tesla employees.

    I’m all for Apple or Google to jump into this game. It will make the movement even stronger. Let’s face it, the big car companies are only in this thing because they have to be. There isn’t a one of them that really thinks they can make a serious business out of selling EV’s. They are being dragged kicking and screaming into all of this and they refuse to change their business model.

    If Apple and Google jump in, the “big three” are in deep dooty.

    1. Tesla will be the first in trouble.

    2. tftf says:

      ” There isn’t a one of them that really thinks they can make a serious business out of selling EV’s. ”

      Hmm, Nissan-Renault invested billions into EVs since 2009.

      Also count Mitsubishi, especially when including PHEVs.

      Just wait until 2018-2020, all major car makers will soon jump into EVs and more PHEVs, they are just timing their market entry.

      As we all know, the current market share for EVs/PHEVs among all new cars is still a niche as of 2015 and car development doesn’t happen overnight.

      1. SJC says:

        There is talk about the 200 mile range EV, simultaneous with that can be a fast charger every mile. If car makers and utilities can make it happen, a threshold can be reached.

  2. tftf says:

    There’s 99% no link to Apple (unless Apple one day decides to buy out FF).

    Chinese investors are behind FF:

    “Funding has not been revealed by Faraday, but sources say that LeTV and Yueting are financing the company’s efforts.

    According to Forbes, Yueting has a net worth of $7.3 billion. The LeTV companies, which include not only video streaming, but also cloud computing, films, and much more, employ over 5,000 people, and together make up one of the most prominent conglomerates in China, giving Faraday a massive bankroll to fund its efforts.”

    http://fortune.com/2015/11/11/faraday-secret-china-letv-tesla/

  3. John F says:

    The verdict is in — Tesla is a success, and now here come the fast followers. Whether it be Faraday Future or others, expect to see more vehicle and more battery manufacturing plants. Its all good for success in the future, unless your future is with GM, etc.

    1. kdawg says:

      GM? Isn’t GM producing the first affordable 200 mile EV just 12 months from now?

      1. ffbj says:

        That is what they have been saying.

      2. Tim says:

        affordable /= desirable

        Ugly plus negative branding. Reality sucks.

      3. Mister G says:

        Bob Lutz will probably squash the Bolt going forward. GM’s business model is to sell gas guzzlers…wake up!

  4. evnow says:

    This has zero to do with Apple and everything to do with a copy-cat Chinese investor. Look at what LA times has uncovered – what more evidence does anyone want ?

    1. Anon says:

      +1

      Seems like echo-chamber reporting…

  5. Anon says:

    I don’t see the connection.

    Foxconn has provided Apple with lots and lots of products over the years. Not surprisingly, they have recently announced building $15,000 EVs for the Chinese Market.

    I don’t think Apple is abandoning a trusted supplier, nor needs / desires a fake front company just to build an EV.

    1. Aaron says:

      Agreed. If Apple is making an EV, they will get a LOT of love by keeping the Apple name. Starting fresh with an unknown name would unnecessarily handicap the company.

  6. goaterguy says:

    Competition is always good for the market. Bring it on.

    1. Steven says:

      Not always, but often.

  7. EVDUDE says:

    There is no way Apple are involved in this.

    Apple have no experience in manufacturing cars, so they hire a company with no experience in manufacturing cars to make the cars for them?

    If Apple do not get an experienced auto maker to make their Apple Car, they will make it themselves.

  8. SparkEV says:

    Heard from a friend who’s related to a guy who made coffee for a coworker overhearing someone who had lunch few tables away talking about previous customer talking about Faraday. What they’re planning is different than EV we know today. Just in case it’s true and someone might get in trouble, I can’t say anymore. But exciting times are ahead, and Faraday will only add to that. You can probably guess from the executive line up that they’re not just going to do the same-old-same-old.

    1. ffbj says:

      Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend. I love the provenance.

  9. kosee says:

    Vague story. It’s all over the Web but we actually don’t know anything. I get the strategy but they will be the same late to market as all the big old ice companies.

    This could be cool but we don’t know anything except some money and people. If you look at the sports world you’ll see that just buying a bunch of people does not always make a great team..

  10. CDAVIS says:

    A sophisticated well funded Chinese brain-suck operation…to copy the parts of Tesla Motor’s manufacturing IP that are not open-patents.

    1. ffbj says:

      Seems likely as this sort of activity is right out of their playbook.

    2. What manufacturing IP does Tesla has? Oh right, nothing. They produce their cars exact the same way, as any other car manufacturer anywhere too.

      1. CDAVIS says:

        @Counter-Strike Cat said:
        “What manufacturing IP does Tesla has? Oh right, nothing. They produce their cars exact the same way, as any other car manufacturer…”
        —–

        The Chinese have no limits when it comes to their proclivity to copy that which was created not by them…that’s because the Chinese are both ambitious and no longer capable of production of original work.

        From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Motors

        “…Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a press release and conference call on June 12, 2014, that the company will allow its technology patents be used by anyone in good faith. Future agreements to be made are expected to include provisions whereby the recipients agree not to file patent suits against Tesla, or to copy the their designs directly…Musk said Tesla will still hold other intellectual property, such as trademarks and trade secrets, which would prevent direct copying of its vehicles…”

        1. super390 says:

          A Chinese company just broke its own world record for multi-crystalline solar cell conversion efficiency:

          http://cleantechnica.com/2015/11/11/trina-solar-breaks-solar-record-with-21-25-efficient-cells/

          It starts to sound like racism after the first few hundred trolls.

    3. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Or just a lone and young tech billionaire who has too much money and wants to make something that really matters in the footsteps of Elon Musk.

      If I had seven billion dollars, I would certainly invest one billion dollars on Faraday Future and two billion dollars on Edison Electric.

  11. Waldo Here says:

    More EVs.
    More attention for EVs.
    American labor.
    More competition for long-range EVs.

    It’s all good.

  12. kubel says:

    They won’t build a single car.

  13. wavelet says:

    This company didn’t even do basic due diligence.
    There’s already a US manufacturer of electric vehicles called Faraday. While they happen to only do e-bicycles, I suspect it’s a close enough area that FF might be forced to change its name…

  14. Priusmaniac says:

    There is no way Royco minute soup is involved in this. Just to make the point that pretending Apple is a car manufacturer doesn’t make much sense.

  15. Cavaron says:

    I love the composition of the first photo:
    Three Chinese guys, one middle eastern (or mexican?) guy, one nerd an a Kit Harrington lookalike… Faraday is comming! Good luck starting where Tesla was in like 2005.

  16. Martin T. says:

    Competition is an excellent thing as are fresh eyes for the industry.
    Let hope they hire some wise car guys to get them through the standard regulations they as a future auto manufacture must adhere to.

    Other wise they will be going backwards redoing their work.
    Fingers crossed they work all this out as starting a car company from scratch is extremely hard challenge.

  17. Jouni Valkonen says:

    This is super good news. However we still need new start-up: “Edison Electric” that uses four direct current motors.

    There is just no way that tranditional car companies could ever make the transition to electric transportation, because there is just too much stranded assets such as “Clean Diesel”. Therefore bankruptcy of Volkswagen and Toyota are inevitable.

    We need new innovative start-ups like Tesla, Faraday and Edison and also old techology players such as Apple iCar, Self-driving Google Android Car, LG Cars and Samsung Automotives, who have enough cash to poach all that little remaining relevant knowhow and value from old car companies.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      The secret Microsoft Windows Car project code named “Blue Screen” is also there.

  18. Mister G says:

    Tesla clones are on the way.

  19. Mister G says:

    If true I hope they stick to making all electrics and not begin making hybrids.