Skip to main content

Newcomer Faraday Future says it will build an electric car by 2017, can it pull that off?

Faraday Future electric car teaser
Faraday Future is a car company founded in 2014 in California, but don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it. The firm has stayed completely off the radar until now, even though it plans to launch a new electric car in 2017.

The company–which apparently likes to be called FF–occupies the former Nissan research and design building in Gardena, has 200 employees, and is currently hiring 10 more every week, according to Motor Trend. It expects to have 300 employees by 2016.

FF’s goal of putting an electric car on sale by 2017 seems pretty bold. The company hasn’t even secured a factory yet, and history is littered with examples of upstart carmakers that bit off more than they could chew in the highly complex car business.

Still, FF appears to have assembled a pretty good team of designers and engineers. The list includes employees who worked on BMW’s “i” electric-car program, the Chevrolet Volt program, at Tesla, as well as at Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The rough outline for the production car FF has disclosed looks pretty impressive too. It will have 15 percent greater specific energy than a Tesla Model S with an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which works out to a battery pack size of 98 kWh. The Model S can go up to 270 miles on a charge, so the FF car may be able to do even better.

The battery pack will be divided into many individual cells like a Tesla’s, but will be designed so that individual cells or groups of cells can be replaced. On current electric cars, failure of a group of cells typically means the entire pack has to be replaced, which is an expensive proposition.

FF is also aiming to achieve greater energy density than any previous electric car. That means a car’s battery pack will be able to store more electricity in a given volume, suggesting pack size won’t have to grow in lockstep with range.

All of this sounds pretty good, but considering that all FF has to show so far is a shadowy rendering, it may be too early to write a deposit check.

FF will likely face a few hurdles in its quest to put its electric car on sale, and not just because its name is easily confused with a certain Ferrari. Building a new car from scratch is difficult and money-intensive; even established players try to rely on existing components as much as possible.

Tesla has shown that it is possible for a startup to make a great new car, but it’s the exception, not the rule. FF could turn out to be the next Tesla, but it could also be the next Coda or Fisker.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
How do electric cars work? EV motors and batteries explained
Electric GT e-Crate Motor Tesla battery

Electric vehicles function in fundamentally different ways than traditional cars. Internal combustion engines have loads of moving parts, and while EVs have their own complexities, they're much more digital than mechanical. Let's take a closer look at exactly how electric vehicles work.
How does an EV battery pack work?
Instead of gasoline, EVs derive their power from a battery pack, which usually stretches along the underside of the car to keep the weight as low as possible. It's composed of multiple modules, which are in turn broken down into individual battery cells, similar in size to AA batteries. A layer of coolant runs between cells since hot batteries are explodey batteries. A battery management system regulates that coolant and ensures that each cell drains at the same rate, which prolongs the life of the pack.


Read more
Jeep built a monster electric prototype to show what EVs can really do off-road
Front three quarter view of the Jeep Magneto 2.0 EV concept

Few cars live in the past like the Jeep Wrangler, which exists to carry on the spirit of the original military Jeep that debuted 81 years ago. So you know Jeep is serious about electrification when it rolls out a Wrangler EV concept.

Unveiled at the 2022 Easter Jeep Safari, a massive annual gathering of off-road enthusiasts held in Moab, Utah, the blue and white Magneto 2.0 concept is, as the name suggests, Jeep’s second attempt at an electric Wrangler. The original Magneto concept was just a way to test the waters -- now Jeep is diving in.

Read more
BMW shows off an electric car with color-changing paint at CES 2022
A color-changing BMW iX electric SUV.

From engine sounds to seat massagers, modern cars let drivers personalize almost everything. At CES 2022, BMW is taking that idea a step further with a concept version of its iX electric SUV that sports color-changing paint.

The effect relies on E Ink, the same electronic paper technology used in e-readers. Millions of microcapsules approximately the diameter of a human hair are embedded in an exterior wrap made from laser-cut electronic paper segments, according to BMW. They contain negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments. Activating an electric field causes different amounts of each pigment to collect on the surface, shifting the color between black, white, and gray with the press of a button.

Read more