Faraday Future takes bids on smaller NV factory, claims $1B facility still in the works
- Electric car manufacturer Faraday Future has announced plans to reboot factory construction at its North Las Vegas site by building a smaller factory first, then its originally planned $1 billion facility, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
- Faraday said it has received competitive bids on a smaller, 650,000-square-foot factory that will manufacture its FF 91 flagship vehicle exclusively in order to meet what the company said was higher-than-expected demand.
- Company officials told The Verge that this "Phase 2 of Stage 1" is in addition to the original 3-million-square-foot factory, which was underway when the company halted construction in November.
The Faraday factory has been a mixed bag for Nevada and the North Las Vegas area. On one hand, the company's big construction plans mean increased employment and development for the local community. However, the fits and starts of construction, as well as the general air of mystery surrounding the company and its financial stability, have lawmakers concerned that the company might not be able to meet its commitments. In fact, state lawmakers required the company to post a bond and establish a construction escrow account, which allegedly was not maintained under its $500 million guaranteed maximum price contract with AECOM for the larger facility.
Despite the project shutdown and rumors of millions in late payments, AECOM said in November that it had completed grading of the site and was still committed to the project.
The state promised Faraday about $215 million in tax breaks — $320 million in total incentives — to build its factory there. Experts have also said that the company's auto-production timeline, originally set for this year, was very ambitious and would be "precedent-setting" if it could be done.
Faraday's main competitor, however, is having better success in Nevada. Tesla is nearing completion of its $5 billion electric-battery gigafactory in Reno, with full operational capability expected by 2018. The company announced this year that the roof of the gigafactory, which will be a net-zero-energy facility, will feature the largest rooftop solar farm in the world at 70 megawatts. One of the few reported blips for the company were rumors that it had not been able to meet its hiring goals for construction — a claim it denies — as well as allegations that one of the project's subcontractors was bringing in cheaper, out-of-state labor, leading to a brief walk off.
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