- High-end, electric car startup Faraday Future, supposedly funded by Chinese billionaire and "disruptive" tech pioneer Jia Yueting, said it has four U.S. states — California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada — lined up to be the home of its new, $1 billion manufacturing plant, the Associated Press reported.
- The company, named after scientist Michael Faraday who worked in electromagnetism and electrochemistry, has released few details about its plans, but it already has 400 employees and has managed to lure some executives away from Tesla Motors, rumored to be the model on which Faraday’s business is based.
- Faraday has announced an aggressive timeline for production, estimating that it will bring its first car to market in 2017, a schedule some analysts have said is not feasible. John Gartner, a director at market intelligence firm Navigant Research, told the AP, "Developing an electric vehicle platform from scratch takes many years and doing it in 18 to 24 months would be a precedent-setting event, if it could be done."
Much of Faraday’s story mimics that of Tesla, from its offering of high-end electric cars to hosting a bidding war to determine where it will build its factory. Nevertheless, Faraday spokesperson Stacy Morris said the company wants to differentiate itself from competitors by marketing the car as a "tool for the connected class" rather than just a car.
"People's lives are changed by their mobile devices, the way that we interact," Morris told the AP. "The car industry hasn't caught up sufficiently. The car still feels like a place where you're disconnected."
As far as ownership, mum is the word at Faraday. "We're in stealth mode where we're not revealing ownership," Morris said. "There's a significant investor who wants the company to stand on its own merit before being associated with it."
If Faraday's plans come to fruition, a $1 billion project could have a major impact on the chosen location. Tesla's gigafactory is expected to spur approximately $97 billion in economic activity for Reno, NV, over 20 years.