Faraday Future Reportedly Builds First Preproduction FF 91 Electric SUV
But when will the company deliver the first customer cars?
Faraday Future has completed the first preproduction FF 91 electric SUV, according to an internal email leaked to CNET. It's a major step toward the electric car startup's goal of beginning deliveries of customer cars before the end of the year, but Faraday still has a long way to go.
According to an email sent Monday from "CEO Office" to the entire Faraday workforce, the first preproduction FF 91 has been completed and the company is planning a celebration on Tuesday to mark the milestone. A Faraday spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the email to CNET, but would not discuss FF 91 production.
The FF 91 was unveiled to much fanfare at CES 2017 and Faraday promised some impressive performance figures at the time. The automaker boasted of 1,050 horsepower, zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds, and a 378-mile range.
But Faraday has struggled to get it into production. The company initially relied on Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting's LeEco tech brand as its main source of funding, but that well dried up when LeEco began experiencing financial difficulties in 2017. Faraday subsequently abandoned plans for a $1 billion factory in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
In June, Faraday announced a $2 billion financial lifeline from China's Evergrande Healthy Investment Group Limited. Evergrande received a 45 percent stake in Faraday as part of the deal. The prospective manufacturer has simultaneously worked to repurpose an old Pirelli tire factory in Hanford, California, to build the FF 91.
Faraday has made impressive progress over the past few months, but the company may still have difficulty meeting its goal of beginning FF 91 deliveries by the end of 2018. It will take more than a considerable amount of effort to build significant volumes of production-spec cars than it did to build a single preproduction model, and Faraday only has a few months left before its deadline.