More than six years after unveiling the first iteration of the FF 91 Futurist ultra-luxury electric vehicle, EV startup Faraday Future says it has finally put it in production.
The company yesterday announced the start of production of the FF 91 at its FF ieFactory located in Hanford, California.
While the start of production is a key manufacturing milestone in the life of any EV startup, questions remain regarding the viability of the company and the product. For example, FF did not say how many FF 91 Futurist vehicles it can build in a day (or a week, more likely) and did not release a production forecast (quarterly or annually).
It didn't say how many pre-orders it has either, after admitting in May 2022 that it only had 401 reservations instead of over 14,000 as it deceptively had stated in 2021. Perhaps the most unusual thing about this announcement is that Faraday Future did not show a complete production car at the event, as you can see in the video at the top of this page.
Instead, employees pushed a cart with the body in white of an FF 91 Futurist to the stage. Furthermore, there's no footage of the assembly line in the video, only footage of robots performing welding.
Faraday Future FF 91 Futurist body in white at production launch event
Make what you want of it, but it doesn't look like Faraday Future actually started production – maybe a part of it, but not full production.
Only four months ago, Faraday Future raised doubts about its ability to continue as a "going concern" and the delivery timeline for the FF 91. At the time, the company had come out of a board reshuffle following a governance dispute with its largest shareholder.
"Start of Production (SOP) of the FF 91 Futurist Alliance marks FF's most solid step as a disruptor of the traditional ultra-luxury automotive civilization. It's a promise we made to our users and shareholders, and we have delivered it today successfully," said Faraday Future founder and CPUO, Jia Yueting.
Yes, you read that right, the company sees itself as a disruptor of traditional ultra-luxury brands like Ferrari, Maybach, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley. It also describes itself as "a software-driven company of intelligent internet tech AI product."
Going into more concrete details, Reuters learned from a company spokesperson that FF 91 deliveries to customers will begin at the end of April 2023.
Faraday Future's first production vehicle and flagship model is expected to be offered in both the United States and China. FF has adopted a direct sales model but says customers will be able to experience its vehicles at showrooms and experience centers owned by the company and partners.
The startup says it will launch its first Flagship Brand Experience Center project in Beverly Hills "very soon." The initial sales efforts this year will begin in the Los Angeles metro region followed by the San Francisco Bay Area and subsequently, the New York metro region. As for China, Faraday Future's initial sales will launch in Shanghai and Beijing.
As for the product itself, Faraday Future says the FF 91 Futurist has seen "significant recent upgrades of systems and components" both in the EV area (powertrain, battery, charging, chassis, and interior) and in the area of computing, sensing, communication, and user interface.
The vehicle is powered by a 1,050-horsepower powertrain offering an EPA-certified range of 381 miles and 0-60 mph acceleration in under 2.3 seconds. Prices haven't been announced, but pre-orders can be placed online in the US for a refundable deposit of $1,500.