Of course, it doesn't help that Faraday is being cagey with the name of its CEO, and haven't released but the sketchiest of vehicle sketches, along with claims that it will launch sometime in 2017. Still, the company – it wants you to call it FF, for short – does have something beyond a slick website to recommend it; namely, a number of employees with quality bona fides.
Consider these peoples and the glories associated with them, for instance: Nick Sampson - former Tesla Motors Director Vehicle & Chassis Engineering, and, until a year ago, Trexa VP Platform Engineering; Richard Kim - BMW Design Manager with the i8, i8 Spyder concepts, and i3 production vehicle to his credit; Silva Hiti - General Motors Engineering Manager and Technical Fellow, former lead on Chevy Volt (her name is also associated with an impressive number of patents); Pontus Fontaeus - former Volvo Director of Interior Design, and more recently involved with Ferrari and Land Rover, among others.
Certainly this cast of characters, along with a couple hundred others, compel us to take this project with some amount of seriousness, even if we do recommend holding onto a few grains of salt. So with all that in mind we will now pass along what there is, so far, to be known. This won't take long.
Vehicle-wise, FF says its product will be, "100% electric, zero-emission, fully-connected and personalized in ways you've never even considered possible." According to Motor Trend, the battery, more energy-dense than any other currently available, will be in the 98 kWh neighborhood, and so should offer at least 300 miles of range.
Venture Beat, who managed to get spokesperson Marcus Nelson on the phone, says the outfit is currently shopping real estate for a production facility – right now they occupy some former Nissan digs in Gardena, CA – and could end up in either Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, or, quite possibly, stay somewhere in California. A decision is expected in the third quarter of this year.
Faraday Future expects it will eventually have thousands of employees and estimates funding for its US operations will be in the billions. Claiming the effort is currently "well-funded," it sees no need for any near-term capital raising campaigns.
Starting a new car company is, to say the least, an extraordinarily difficult challenge, and the burgeoning electric vehicle market may be the only space where a newcomer might even dream of becoming a volume manufacturer. As in so many other cases, success will come down to product and execution. Design needs to be compelling and accessible. Technological whiz-bangery needs to reach past novelty and into the realm of practical problem solving.
At this early stage, and with only the digital thumbnail sketch you see above to go by, it's impossible to accurately predict how this story will unfold. We are certainly eager to see what it is, exactly, that this secretive startup has to offer, and hope there is something of substance behind the marketing hype. Will the future belong to Faraday, or will it implode on itself like so many others before it? Stay tuned.