Faraday Future raises £747 million by selling shares
US company headed by Chinese investor Jia Yueting uses equity funding; it maintains first vehicle will make production next year
Electric car maker Faraday Future has secured $1 billion (£747 million) worth of funding by selling off shares – a move newly appointed chief executive Jia Yueting claims will ensure its FF 91 model makes production before 2018’s close.
According to Shanghai’s Securities News, Yueting, who is the founder of Faraday Future backer and struggling Chinese tech firm LeEco, announced the results of its equity funding at an employee meeting. He also said that he would move into Faraday Future’s leading position, filling a role that has been vacant for four years.
The news may come as a relief for Faraday Future’s employees, most of whome are in the US, with their future having been cast into uncertainty with recent funding issues and the departure of high level executives.
Only last month reports suggested Faraday Future had received £687 million in investment from Indian conglomerate giant Tata, but the company said “the news is not true and hence we do not have any comment”. US-based Faraday Future is worth about $9 billion (£6.87bn), meaning the claims for Tata’s investment would have bought it 10% of the company.
Prior to that, former Faraday Future chief financial officer Stefan Krause resigned in October and chief technology officer Ulrich Kranz’s contract was terminated. However, Faraday Future said that this had not impacted upon its ongoing research and development process.
The company has, at least, received more than 64,000 orders for its first model, the FF 91, which is a Tesla Model S rival. It was building a battery factory in Nevada, Texas to handle the FF 91’s production, but plans took a hit when construction contractor AECOM claimed a payment of $21m (£16m) was late. The company is now planning to refubish an existing plant in Hanford, California.
Despite the issues, Yueting has maintained that his company will deliver its first customer FF 91 by the end of 2018. The FF 91 is powered by a 130kWh battery and uses Faraday Future’s patented Echelon Inverter, which it says can transform more energy while using less space.
The car can gain 500 miles worth of charge per hour and comes with a home charger that can fill the battery to 50% in less than 4.5 hours at 240v. Faraday Future says it predicts the car will offer a range of more than 435 miles in New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) tests.
Source: Autocar Online