In a tightly packed tent on a rainy Las Vegas night, Faraday Future made its first unveiling to the world. The new electric vehicle startup is still a “couple years” away from launching its first production vehicle, but it’s not afraid of setting up some lofty expectations.
“Tesla and Elon Musk have created something we should all applaud them for,” said Nick Sampson, a senior vice president at Faraday and a former Tesla engineer, onstage at the launch event. “But Tesla was founded in 2003. Five years later, they produced the limited production Roadster, based on the Lotus platform. Seven years after founding, they began work on their first volume production factory and had 600 employees. And then after 9 years, they delivered their first mass market production vehicle. Tesla Motor moved at breakneck speed compared to the rest of the auto industry.”
“But let me tell you about where we are today,” Sampson continued. “Faraday Future was founded just 18 months ago. In that short year and a half, we already have a staggering 750 employees globally, breaking ground on a 3 million square foot factory in just a few weeks, and we will deliver our first production vehicle in only a couple years time. All of this in 18 months now, I’d call that very fast.”
What makes the company so fast? Sampson explained it’s partially due to its approach to engineering cars with what it calls “Variable Platform Architecture,” or VPA. Sampson explained the fancy term is a modular approach to engineering all the future Faraday vehicles. In a short video, the company explained that its battery is designed on a “string” that allows the company to add or remove batteries based on the layout of the engine, powertrain, wheels or any other internal part. The details of this approach still aren’t entirely clear, but the company promises it’s going to let the company move a lot faster than Tesla ever did.
“With VPA, we can dramatically compress our time to market and reduce our costs,” Sampson boasted.
But not only does Faraday do fancy things like VPA, it’s also got a lot of money from China. Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, founder and CEO of LeTV, is behind a $1 billion factory in Nevada for building Faraday vehicles. At the Monday night event, Faraday talked a bit more about its relationship with LeTV, sometimes referred to the “Netflix NFLX -3.15% of China” but has been moving into other products like phones. “While Faraday and LeTV are two separate companies, we’re working together on various elements of vehicle development,” Sampson said.
Also for show at the Monday event was the ridiculous concept car, the FFZERO1, an autonomous car with a 1,000-horsepower engine. Unfortunately, there were no live demos of the car.
In the company’s closing remarks, it of course had to bring up Apple and the iPhone. “Apple didn’t just redefine the phone, it transformed the way we communicate, organize and enjoy our lives,” Sampson said. “That is what we at Faraday are looking to do. We’re looking to the future, seeking opportunities and working to bring them to life to help redefine the world of mobility.”
This article was written by forbes.com