The saga continues: Faraday Future sets a court date with its main investor

Faraday Future FF 91

It sounded like Faraday Future had moved beyond the worst of its nightmare-esque financial problems when it received a $2 billion lifeline from a Hong Kong-based investor in June 2018. The sizable sum, which was to be paid in several installments, promised to keep the company afloat while allowing it to launch production of the FF91, its long-overdue first model. Court documents indicate the relationship between the two firms has turned sour and Faraday wants a divorce.

Jia Yueting, Faraday’s billionaire founder, filed for arbitration in Hong Kong on October 3, according to industry trade journal Automotive News. Posting on its official Twitter account, Faraday Future bitterly claims Evergrande Health Industry Group — the new owner of the company which made the initial investment — provided an initial payment of $800 million but didn’t keep its promise of sending additional installments as the firm met performance-related goals.

“Evergrande held the payments back to try to gain control and ownership over Faraday Future China and all of Faraday Future’s intellectual property,” the statement reads. It concludes Evergrande hasn’t held up its end of the bargain while preventing Faraday Future from securing the funding it needs to remain operational from other sources. Yueting is asking the court to end the partnership between the two companies.

Faraday has spent the $800 million and it is once again in dire financial straits, according to The Verge. It’s considering laying off part of its staff to save money and it stopped paying some of its suppliers.

Evergrande initially told Reuters that it agreed to send Faraday Future the remaining $1.2 million balance in two installments scheduled to be made in 2019 and 2020, respectively. It later added Yueting used “manipulating techniques” to secure $700 million of the total sum ahead of schedule if Faraday meets unspecified goals. It strongly denies the allegations of wrongdoing and stresses it will fight to keep the 45 percent share it holds in the China-funded, California-based automaker. It also accuses Yueting of trying to strip it of the right to have a say in how Faraday Future runs its business.

It’s unclear who the court will side with, and the legal battle could last for months. In the meantime, the quagmire represents the latest in an astonishingly long stream of hurdles placed ahead of Faraday Future as it tries to bring the FF91, an electric sedan with a six-digit price tag, to production. The company’s statement stresses it remains on track to deliver the first examples in 2019. Pre-production finally started in California in July 2018 but insiders told The Verge the first prototype caught fire the following September.

Mobile

Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.
Movies & TV

'Wonder Woman 1984' release date pushed back to June 2020

Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot will bring Wonder Woman back to theaters in June 2020. Here's all of the casting news and other details we have about Wonder Woman 1984 so far.
Movies & TV

Title logo for 'John Wick 3' makes its debut during licensing show

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.
Cars

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford briefly flashed an enigmatic new model in a minute-long commercial starring Bryan Cranston. Its front end borrows styling cues from the 2019 Mustang, but it doesn't have a grille and its emblem is back-lit.
Cars

Tesla drops Full Self-Driving option from online configurator to spare ‘confusion’

Tesla no longer offers a Full Self-Driving (FSD) option for Models S, X, and 3 in the company's online configuration tool. CEO Elon Musk said the FSD option caused confusion. Its software validation and regulatory approval could take years.
Cars

U.K. on-demand car service plans autonomous vehicles in London by 2021

U.K.-based Addison Lee and Oxbotica allied to serve the connected and autonomous vehicle services market. Addison Lee is an established executive car service and Oxbotica develops self-driving car systems and fleet management software.
Cars

Protect yourself (and maybe capture something crazy) with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Drive.ai's free on-demand self-driving car service is now available in Frisco

After deploying its self-driving shuttles in Frisco, California-based start-up Drive.ai is launching a second pilot program in Arlington. Riding in a shuttle -- which operates in a geo-fenced area -- is free.
Cars

Ford’s self-driving cars hit the streets of the nation’s capital

Ford is deploying self-driving cars in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate their capabilities to lawmakers and ordinary citizens alike. The automaker plans to launch a production autonomous car in 2021.
Emerging Tech

World’s first drone-equipped motorcycle features a special space for the Spark

If your sidecar is missing a drone or your drone a sidecar, then check out how the two machines have been brought together in this unique design from Ural Motorcycles. Only 40 have been made, though that may turn out to be enough.