Faraday Future Announces Plans For $1 Billion Electric Car Production Facility in Las Vegas

The ongoing drip-feed of information about enigmatic electric car startup Faraday Future (which prefers to call itself FF) continued this morning with the announcement that it has chosen the APEX Industrial Park, Clark County, Nevada as the location where it will build first production electric vehicle.

We haven't seen the Faraday Future car yet -- but it will be built in Las Vegas

We haven’t seen the Faraday Future car yet — but it will be built in Las Vegas

Announced earlier this morning at a special press conference in Las Veags, the site, located just twenty minutes from the Las Vegas strip off Interstate-15, has been transformed in recent years thanks to the efforts of medical marijuana growers, who brought both water and power lines to the area for the first time.

That means that the site is now perfect for industrial development for the first time, although it also notes that Faraday Future would be the first industrial user on the site. At the moment, there’s one marijuana grower — and fifteen more awaiting permitting for the same purpose.

FF says it will build the Faraday Future car just north of Las Vegas

FF says it will build the Faraday Future car just north of Las Vegas

“We are very excited to make our $1 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing — and this is just phase one,”  said Nick Sampson, senior vice president of Faraday Future and former Chassis Engineer for Tesla Motors. “Selecting the right location for the future FF manufacturing facility is critical to our overall goals. Producing our forward-looking and fully-connected electric vehicles not only requires the latest technology, but the right community partner.”

With a $12 million commitment to the local education system, FF has also helped devise a new education program designed specifically to train and certify locals in the skills they’ll need to take one of the proposed 4,500 jobs at the at the 3-million square foot facility. Additionally, 3,000 construction jobs will be created by the construction of the FF facility, while 9,000 indirect jobs in the community will be created as a direct consequence of the new facility.  All told, the deal is estimated to be worth $85 billion to the local economy.

In reciprocation, the Nevada Legislature is hoping to offer a plan of tax incentives, abatements and infrastructure improvements worth $335 million.

Similar to the generous packages offered to Tesla Motors in northern Nevada to facilitate the building of its massive Gigafactory, the packages being proposed would not only make it financially viable for FF to build its factory north of Las Vegas but also underscore the state’s commitment to future car technology and high-tech industry.

The new facility will bring 4,500 jobs to the area.

The new facility will bring 4,500 jobs to the area.

Nevada Governor Sandoval, speaking at the official press conference, noted that the while the package of incentives and abatements had yet to be passed into law, he was confident that the legislature would pass them into law expeditiously so that the project could continue apace.

The proposed legislation would also green-light investment from the Nevada Department for Transport in order to widen the road leading to FF’s new factory, adding a new off-ramp and flyover to facilitate traffic in and out of the APEX Industrial Park.

Additionally, the state hope to build a brand-new rail park adjacent to the APEX Industrial park, making it possible for APEX Industrial Park businesses to utilize railroad transportation as a way to bring raw materials and goods out of the area.

Like its vehicular designs, FF  is still keeping a large portion of its board of management a closely-guarded secret, with the official company press release staying tight-lipped on who it is that owns or runs the company.

Luckily for us however, we’ve got a little hint courtesy of the Nevada Legislature.

That’s because in order to gain state support for the Las Vegas production facility, FF’s Chinese billionaire backer — video and television mogul Jia Yueting — had personally write to the state legislature.

While we know where the car will be built, we have to wait 3 weeks to find out what it looks like.

While we know where the car will be built, we have to wait 3 weeks to find out what it looks like.

“We hope to bring our $1 billion investment to North Las Vegas and open our first manufacturing facility there, creating 4,500 jobs,” the letter read. “Together with top global experts, we have created a partnership structure for decision-making and management of FF.”

Ranked number 17 on Forbes China Rich List for 2015 (up from #78 in 2014), the 42-year old entrepreneur has a net-worth of some $7.9 billion, much of which comes from Leshi TV, one of China’s most popular online video sites. Previous successes have included Sinotel, a wireless telecom company which went public in Singapore in 2008 and helped rocket him to fame.

“While I am personally backing FF, there is also a diverse funding strategy to help us fully realize our mission and vision,” the letter continues.  “We plan to revolutionize the automobile industry by creating an integrated, intelligent mobility system that protects the earth and improves the living environment of mankind, so that everyone can breathe clean air and enjoy a seamlessly connected lifestyle.”

As with Tesla's Gigafactory (above) Nevada hopes to set itself up as the future for forward-thinking green tech companies.

As with Tesla’s Gigafactory (above) Nevada hopes to set itself up as the future for forward-thinking green tech companies.

Jia also explained that while the company has been operating in stealth thus far, it already owns and operates a technology headquarters in Silicon Valley as well as a research and development centre in Los Angeles. Other offices in Dusseldorf, Germany and Beijing, China, outline the company’s grand plans for the future — and what we presume is a desire to chase down Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] in the electric car marketplace.

As we’ve explained in recent articles however, FF might not just be interested in challenging Tesla Motors in the electric car marketplace. Indeed, it seems to be looking to change the way we own and operate cars too, leveraging the Internet of Things and autonomous driving technology to bring fully-automated car sharing to the world.

While FF itself hasn’t disclosed any plans relating to this, Sampson hinted in a recent interview that FF’s vehicles would have to meet the needs of those who “are considering not even having a car.” Add to that the fact that Jia’s Leshi TV said it would buy a 70 percent stake in Chinese Uber competitor Yidao Yongche, and that particular theory starts to make a whole lot more sense.

But while we’re still hearing snippets of information, we’re unlikely to hear anything concrete until next month, when FF will unveil its first car at a gala event at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

And as we’ve just RSVPed, we’ll be sure to cover that event for you live here at TransportEvolved. 


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  • Joe Viocoe

    Wow…. get off Tesla’s sack already, and have an original idea for once.

    • KIMS

      What an odd comment, especially in light of Tesla itself wishing for and even encouraging more competition in this space!

      • Joe Viocoe

        Competition is one thing… Copycat is another.

        • There’s no reason to believe that FF is copying anyone Joe. After all, there are only so many different ways to build a car…

          • Joe Viocoe

            The very name Faraday was derived because Tesla was a pioneer in electrical invention. There are several other blatant reasons to see how they are copying.

          • Julian Cox

            Joe. No doubt about it that they are copying Tesla but they are no threat to Tesla. When I look in my crystal ball I see their efforts to compete if that is what it is, will more than likely collapse into a collaboration with Tesla. For example it is daft for them not to take advantage of the Gigafactory next door. That means that it is daft for them not to adopt Tesla’s charging standards. To coordinate their fleet with Tesla’s chargers it will be daft of them not to adopt Tesla’s OTA network, then they may as well adopt Tesla’s autonomy standards, that will win them years of speed to market and de-risk them being run-over by Tesla.

            What is left then is an independent vehicle manufacturing and fleet operations business operating Tesla core technologies. This is all good, even if its initial concept and funding is derived from some notion of racing Tesla to market with autonomous fleet and under some delusion that Tesla’s business model is static and lacking in vision.

        • KIMS

          I was more thinking about how Tesla already “opened” their patents. A more clear invitation to “copy” may not exist in the world of business. Even if it was a “copy”, as long as it is a “legal” copy, it would still benefit competition. The world is full of knock-off products, most of them are terrible, but they give people a choice, even if it is a clear choice to most. That choice also keeps everyone on their toes and so it will help drive innovation more so than if there were no copy-cats.

          That said, I hear you; it would be way better if they did something truly new and novel… but how do you know that they are not doing that? We hardly have any details to go by at this point.

          • Joe Viocoe

            If they were copying the technology, i would not have a problem. I would actually welcome that.
            They are copying the brand!
            Their very name says they are trying to leech off the name recognition Tesla has built.

          • KIMS

            Now I’m starting to see more what you are getting at. . . it is very obvious now that you point it out that their name choice and how they have acted and worded things so far is very much an attempt to walk in the footsteps of Tesla because it worked so extremely well for them. If I was a Tesla brand owner, I would be pretty …. ised’ about this.. as a consumer, it still brings more choices to the market.

        • Zippy

          I fear that vested interests might be throwing billions into this project as part of some plan to harm or derail Tesla in some devious way other than just competition. I can’t think what they might be able to do to stop the Tesla juggernaut now but something seems fishy about this whole thing.

  • Julian Cox

    Faraday Future is interesting. What concerns me about them (for their sake) is that I think they are following a moneyed CEO who imagines that he has spotted a trick that Tesla is missing. When in fact all he has spotted is something Tesla has been steadily constructing for years and is massively further ahead and better equipped to deliver: An integrated autonomous mobility solution. That solution requires everything that Tesla is building – the Tesla OTA ‘cloud’ networked fleet intelligence incorporating monitoring, control and collaborative mapping, upgrades/patches, cabin to control communications, vehicle to fleet communications, vehicle to charging network and charging network to fleet communications, deep level diagnostics etc etc etc. A network that readily facilitates direct integration with hailing and billing as required. An autonomous driving platform which that network enables. Electric vehicle manufacture (naturally), battery manufacture (obviously – or it should be if it isn’t obvious yet), a servicing network (this is vital, a fleet cannot operate without it – and it cannot be a third party network that is incentivised to profit from it), a charging network (obviously – ideally one with automated snake charging), low cost energy – (grid energy is cheap enough but aligning the business with driving down the costs of storage and renewable generation at scale is swimming down stream).

    The big deal here is that an Tesla (or a FF) electric autonomous fleet vehicle is insanely cheap to operate on a cost per mile basis. Total cost of ownership comes out at about $0.06 cents per mile. 100% gross profit at $0.12 cents per mile. This is less than typical gas milage cost of a 30 mpg gasoline vehicle (with nothing left over to cover cost of car ownership and depreciation and definitely nothing left over to cover the wages of a driver). Bottom line there is no money in this economic picture to build an ICE vehicle. It is completely impossible to compete with it using engines and gasoline even if the ICE vehicle was fully autonomous – just like it is completely impossible to compete with a completely and rapidly reusable rocket fleet to launch a constellation of internet satellites. This is classic Musk – evolve then revolutionise, step by step.

    Tesla has assuredly not missed a single trick in this playbook and FF is simply years behind the curve. Where I think FF will have a win is to develop their concept in California and Nevada alongside Tesla and establish it in cities in China, Russia, South America and Africa. If they position themselves as a Tesla competitor, they will lose, otherwise I think there is plenty of room for them to win.