Faraday Future wants you to believe in its electric vehicles. For the past month, the hopeful EV manufacturer has received nothing but bad press: It’s hemorrhaging money and owes millions of dollars in bills; its main investor, LeEco, is losing all its money; the contractor building its factory “halted work” in mid-November; six of its top executives left the company in October.
Those who remain at the company, however, seem unperturbed: On Wednesday, the company teased a prototype of its production car, which it says it will unveil at CES 2017 in January. This car will either solidify or nullify the fledgling manufacturer’s place in the EV market. Faraday Future seems to expect the former. “Witness our first true venture into the battery-powered future of electric vehicles and experience what you’ve all been waiting for at our CES 2017 unveiling in Las Vegas,” Faraday Future writes in a newsletter.
About a month ago, the company first teased its prototype. It was a very limited tease: The car was shown silently racing around a closed track, wrapped in a cover to hide what was underneath. Two 15-second videos offered little information and much allure. Now, it’s attempting to build yet more hype.
There’s no doubt that employees have kept busy, though one could argue that the executives are prodigal. At last year’s CES, Faraday Future unveiled its concept car, the FFZERO1. In July, the company announced a foray into the Formula E racing circuit. Now it’s time for real — not concept — car production.
If Faraday Future plans to mimic Tesla’s business model, this car will be out of most everyone’s price range, with the goal of making enough of a profit to finance the next, slightly more affordable car. If it plans to abandon Tesla’s business model, and compete right away with Elon Musk’s consumer-level EV, the Tesla Model 3. We’ll know which strategy it will take in just under a month — and also whether it can live up to all its hype.