Faraday Future on Wednesday announced the start of production of its FF91 electric SUV, although the company hasn’t actually shown any completed customer vehicles yet.
Photos from the start-of-production ceremony at Faraday’s Hanford, California, factory show only a body shell. The company said it will host a “launch event” for the FF91, which it plans to sell in both the U.S. and China, on April 26.
The FF91 was first shown in concept form in 2017, and shortly after Faraday announced plans for a new factory in North Las Vegas, Nevada, to build it. Production was later shifted to the California facility, a repurposed Pirelli tire factory, and Faraday revealed its first production FF91 body in 2018, with a “production intent” vehicle after that. Persistent financial issues have stalled progress, though. Faraday said just last year that it needed more funding to put the FF91 into production.
Faraday has stuck with similar specs throughout these plans. The company says the FF91 Futurist launch version will have 1,050 hp and a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 2.27 seconds, along with an EPA-rated 381-mile range. The company confirmed that EPA range last year, with a 142-kwh battery pack.
At the time of the FF91’s 2017 unveiling, Faraday discussed a price of almost $300,000 that, despite the company’s high-tech aesthetic, targets not Tesla or Lucid but Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Maybach, which is due to debut its first EV at the 2023 Shanghai auto show later in April. The Rolls-Royce Spectre EV is coming later this year. While the FF91 and the forthcoming Maybach are SUVs, the Spectre is a more traditional coupe.
Faraday said last year that a planned second model, the FF 81, is slated for high-volume production in South Korea at a former GM facility in 2024. That high-volume intention likely means a lower price point as well.
Additional models are part of a second phase of expansion which the company said will also involve “smart device sales,” with the goal to “create a mobility ecosystem with a rapid increase in eco revenues,” according to the release. This sounds similar to Faraday backer Jia Yueting’s Le Eco effort, which attempted to create a hardware and software ecosystem around its own electric cars and phones but failed. With Jia, nicknamed YT within the company, still influencing Faraday decision making, albeit no longer in the CEO role, that idea appears to have resurfaced.
In a third phase of expansion, the company said its goal is to “sustain the rapid growth of its smart device sales while achieving explosive growth in eco revenues, which include internet apps, software, and sharing.” It’s an ambitious plan for a company that hasn’t managed to deliver one customer car yet.
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