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Just before CES reveal, Faraday Future loses battery engineer

Porter Harris Heads Out The Door

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Just when things were apparently going so well, a little bit of bad news. One of the few people publicly identified with Faraday Future, chief battery architect Porter Harris has left the company just before the company's secretive EV is unveiled for the first time tonight in Las Vegas. The world learned about his departure through a LinkedIn post that simply said, "and now...the future."

Bloomberg says that Harris will move over to Lotus R&D after 15 months at FF. This is not Lotus the automaker, but a different company that says it, "specializes in research and development of novel technologies for both terrestrial and space applications." Harris previously worked at SpaceX. Neither Harris nor Faraday responded to a request for comments from Bloomberg.

In a few hours, Faraday Future will show off its EV just before CES gets started here in Vegas. Based on a supposed leak of the FF iOS app today, the vehicle we're going to see is a wild-looking shell that isn't able to drive and doesn't show off what FF's production vehicle will look like. That vehicle will still show up at some point, since Faraday Future has said it will build a $1-billion factory not too far from Las Vegas.

Faraday Future is backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the founder and CEO of the LeTV holding company. Forbes estimates that he is worth $7.8 billion and was the 17th richest person in China in 2015. In 2014, he was the 78th richest, and was the biggest upward mover on that elite list. He made his money from online video and telecom companies.

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