Getting Carsten Breitfeld and Sandy Munro together to talk about cars and EV technology is a wonderful thing. Both of these guys have probably forgotten more about building cars than most of us will ever know.
In the video above Sandy interviews Breitfeld, the CEO of Faraday Future for nearly an hour, and they initially cover topics from Breitfeld's days at BMW where he was responsible for bringing the i8 to production to co-founding the EV startup Byton. However, the bulk of the conversation was about Breitfelds latest endeavor, taking over as CEO of Faraday Future.
I had the opportunity to chat with Breitfeld at CES in 2020 and also scored a ride up and down the Las Vegas Strip in an FF91. It's an extremely comfortable and luxurious car, as it should be for its $225,000 price. As a matter of fact, Breitfeld tells Sandy that he sees the FF91's competition as not Tesla or Lucid Motors, but Mercedes-Benz Maybach, Rolls Royce, and Bently.
The FF91 is aiming at the uber-luxury class, but Breitfeld also said they have two more vehicles in the company's plans. He said the next vehicle will compete with the Tesla Model X, so we're thinking it's a long-range SUV that costs around $100,000.
It's a long video covering a lot of interesting topics so here are some of the notable timestamps:
- 0:00 Intro, Carsten's background at BMW and Byton
- 3:41 Faraday Future's vision
- 8:53 Sandy's experience in the FF91
- 12:31 Third internet living space
- 15:27 Faraday battery system and other technology
- 20:11 Connectivity and OTA
- 23:02 What makes customers happy
- 28:03 Driving experience, range, changing the paradigm of automobile ownership
- 41:21 Future technologies, VTOLS, commoditization of powertrain
- 45:01 Focus is important - FF91 launching late Q1 2022
- 46:23 SPAC, funding and the future
Breitfeld admits that Faraday Future initially overpromised and underdelivered, but that was before he was at the helm. He added that the SPAC merger will add over $1 billion to the company's war chest, which will allow them to bring the FF91 luxury sedan to production in about one year from now.
The vehicle will be made at Faraday's factory in Hanford, California, which used to be a Pirelli Tire plant. The company originally had grand plans to build its own $1 billion factory in Las Vegas but was forced to cancel those plans in 2017 when it ran into financial difficulty.
Gallery: Faraday Future FF 91 Interior
Breitfeld also explained how Faraday Future's battery pack is unique. It utilizes cylindrical 2170 cells as Tesla does for the Model 3 and Model Y, but the cells are immersed in liquid for optimal cooling. The FF91's battery pack is also modular and can accommodate up to six battery "strings", each of which is 22 kWh. With all six strings, the FF91 has slightly over 130 kWh and that will be good enough to power the FF91 for over 400 miles of range.
The two cover a lot more in the 50-minute video, so check it out and let us know what you think. Will the SPAC merger be enough to finally get the FF91 into production? Does Faraday Future have a future? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.