EV Startup Faraday Future Reveals its Production-intent FF91 Luxury Vehicle
【Summary】It’s been a rough couple of years for California-based luxury electric vehicle startup Faraday Future (FF). The company has struggled to stay afloat after blowing through nearly $2 billion dollars in venture capital. But the company aims to get back on track and has just unveiled the production intended version of the FF91, which FF says will enter production in Q3 at the company’s factory in Hanford, California.
It's been a rough couple of years for California-based electric vehicle startup Faraday Future. The company has struggled to stay afloat After blowing through nearly $2 billion dollars in venture capital to build its ultra-luxury, intelligent FF91 electric vehicle.
In addition to its financial problems, Faraday Future ran into organizational problems, furloughed employees and its plans to build a $1 billion factory in the Nevada desert also fell through. The setbacks led to the departure of its CEO.
The EV startup is now led by former BMW engineer Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, who joined FF as CEO in Sept 2019. Dr Breitfeld, is an auto industry veteran who spent twenty years at BMW. He is best known as the designer of BMW's futuristic i8 electric hybrid car. At BMW, Dr Breitfeld led the i8 project from concept to production vehicle in just 38 months, and for the past several years he was working on a similar development timeline for the FF91 luxury EV.
Now the company has unveiled the production intent version of the FF91, which FF says will enter production in the third quarter of this year at the company's factory in Hanford, California. But before then, the company said it will build more production-intent vehicles over the coming months for vehicle testing and validation, as well as for final certification before official production begins.
"Building the first production-intent vehicle at the Hanford plant is an important step towards reaching the start of production in Q3. This iteration is the closest to the FF 91 production model we've seen to-date," said Matt Tall, vice president of manufacturing at FF. "The FF 91 is expected to be the first ultra-luxury EV to reach the market, with a unique driver and passenger experience."
In Oct 2021, FF laid out seven manufacturing milestones leading into the FF 91's production intent model. The first was installing pilot equipment at its Hanford manufacturing plant's pre-production build area. Milestone 2 was securing a Certificate of Occupancy, clearing the path for the company's pre-production builds to start. Milestone 3 was to begin foundation construction for all remaining production areas at the factory, including body, paint, warehouse and vehicle assembly.
Now that the first three milestones have been reached, Milestone #4 is the start of pre-production builds for final engineering validation and certification. The other milestones will follow after reaching the fourth.
FF was founded in 2014 and was once viewed as a serious competitor to Tesla. However the company's financial problems forced it to delay the development of the luxury electric FF91.
The FF91 is a high-tech, luxury electric SUV. The EV was first unveiled at CES in 2017. Faraday says the FF91's electric powertrain produces 1,050 horsepower and reaches 0-60 mph in just 2.4 seconds.
Dr Breitfeld compares FF's electric powertrain technology to the Porsche Taycan sedan and Audi e-tron SUV, but says FF's powertrain is much more technologically advanced.
FF describes the passenger experience in the FF91 to that of a "private jet on 22-inch wheels" designed to offer passengers a relaxing, lounge-like experience. The FF91 was developed using virtual and augmented reality so its designed around how passengers will interact with the vehicle.
The rear seats in the FF91 recline to 60 degrees, like first class cabins found in some of the world's top airliners. The FF91 also includes a 27-inch widescreen rear monitor that descends from the roof, so rear passengers can watch their favorite entertainment in comfort.
Now FF just needs to get its built. But the struggling EV startup still faces an uphill battle. The luxury-electric vehicle segment is getting more competitive than it was just several years ago. The FF91 will compete with new electric models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lucid Group, Hyundai and General Motors.
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