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: Faraday Future Puts a Hold on Factory Construction in North Las Vegas

Faraday Future Puts a Hold on Factory Construction in North Las Vegas

27 Jun

On July 10, 2017, Faraday Future announced that it was putting on hold its plans to build an assembly factory for the company’s FF91 prototype concept car in North Las Vegas, Nevada at the Apex Industrial Park:

“We at Faraday Future are significantly shifting our business strategy to position the company as the leader in user-ship personal mobility – a vehicle usage model that re-imagines the way users access mobility. As a result of this shift in direction, we are in the process of identifying a manufacturing facility that presents a faster path to start-of-production and aligns with future strategic options.

Accordingly, we have decided to put a hold on our factory at the APEX site in North Las Vegas. As the land owner, we remain committed to the build-out of the APEX site for long-term vehicle manufacturing and firmly believe North Las Vegas is an ideal place to be.

We would like to thank our partners in Nevada for their continued support throughout this process. Governor Sandoval and his office of Economic Development, Clark County and Mayor John Lee and the North Las Vegas officials.

More details on Faraday Future’s new strategy will be shared in the coming weeks.”

Reactions to the Faraday Future announcement were mixed from Nevada government officials at the state and local levels.

According to a statement from Steve Hill, Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development:

“Faraday Future has informed the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) that it has put the construction of its factory in North Las Vegas on hold.

Throughout the process of working with Faraday, the state recognized both the opportunity a large manufacturing facility could provide as well as the inherent risk associated with a start-up company attempting this endeavor. In order to protect the citizens of Nevada from risk, the agreement with Faraday requires the company to fully invest a minimum of $1 billion in order to receive any state incentives.

In accordance with this agreement, Faraday has paid all taxes owed to a Trust Fund established by the state. The agreement with Faraday held Nevada’s citizens harmless from the risk associated with this project,” GOED Director Hill said.

Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz issued a harsher statement:

“We all make mistakes, but this one was obvious. Long after it became apparent that ‘a mysterious Chinese billionaire’ and Faraday Future could never build a $1 billion electric auto plant, Nevada state officials continued to insist that Faraday Future would magically create 4,500 jobs in North Las Vegas. Now that Jia Yueting, Faraday’s funding source, has had his assets frozen by a Shanghai court and is under increasing scrutiny in China for what amounts to fraud, the automobile plant is just a pile of sand in Apex Industrial Park, and the promised jobs are just another mirage in the Southern Nevada Desert,” Treasurer Schwartz said.

“The only good news is that the Treasurer’s Office continued to press for financial information from Faraday and refused to issue a $175 million bond without detailed information.

Welcome to Nevada, where good government takes a back seat to bad deals,” Schwartz said.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee sought to soften the impact of the hold decision, as well as find a silver lining, when he issued the following statement:

“The State, County and City are focused to ensure Southern Nevada has a large scale industrial park developed and ready for job creators to diversify our regional economy, and Faraday has played an important part by investing almost $50 million in land improvements and critical design and engineering work at Apex Industrial Park, creating a momentum that has attracted multiple Fortune 500 companies hiring 7,000 Nevadans and investing more than $1 billion, that has stabilized and transformed our community,” Mayor Lee said.

Faraday Future had hired Stefan Krause as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer and tasked him with raising $1 billion in additional capital to continue expanding the company, including the completion of an electric car factory in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

The company had sought to build a down-sized 650,000 square-foot automotive assembly plant within the city’s Apex Industrial Park, after previously grading and leveling the ground during 2016. Completion of the factory and the manufacturing assembly-line were projected to roll out the first production car models of the FF91 sometime in 2018.

Faraday Future slowed its development plans during 2016 and early 2017, after financial troubles beset the company’s primary investor, Chinese billionaire Jia Yue Ting.

During August 2017, the company announced that it was leasing an existing factory in Hanford, CA between Fresno and Bakersfield, located between Interstate Highway I-5 and US Highway 99. The company will fully move into the one-million square-foot plant during November 2017 and hopes to manufacture production versions of the FF91 by the end of 2018.

Faraday Future still owns 930 acres of land within the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas that the company purchased for $29.4 million. Tentative plans are on hold to try to convert the property into a fully-owned, larger scale factory sometime in the future. However, first the company must achieve its short-term manufacturing goals at the Hanford, CA plant during 2018.

The FF91 electric car prototype unveiled during CES 2017 in Las Vegas had been built for performance. It integrated up to three AC motors in parallel, with electricity supplied from the company’s patented AC inverter electronics.

A 130 kilowatt-hour battery pack and the three-motor electric drive train could develop an equivalent of 1050 horsepower and accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.39 seconds, according to in-house company benchmark testing.

Faraday Future FF91 electric drive train includes three AC electric motors, a 130 kWh battery pack, patented AC inverter electronics and all-wheel steering.

Faraday Future FF91 electric drive train includes three AC electric motors, a 130 kWh battery pack, patented AC inverter electronics and all-wheel steering.

All wheel steering allowed for nimbler handling and performance through tight turns, as well as quicker avoidance of obstacles.

Faraday Future FF91 races at Pike's Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs

Faraday Future FF91 races at Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs

During June, Faraday Future raced the FF91 in the Exhibition Division of the Broadmoor Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, Colorado:

https://ev.ff.com/2s9UFNL

The challenging Pike’s Peak race course is more vertical than most, climbing 4,720 feet through 12.42 miles of continuously winding road, with 156 turns to reach a mountain summit 14,110 feet high.

Gasoline engine fuel mixtures become challenged in the thin air, so battery-powered electric cars have an advantage at that kind of altitude.

A Youtube video of one of the hill climb runs can be seen at this weblink:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2mxpLKSdOU

The FF91 had a best time of 11 minutes and 25.082 seconds for the course, even though it stalled near the summit and had to reboot its onboard computer control system. Though coming in at 40th place compared to all the weekend’s competitor time slips, the FF91 performed well for an electric production car. The best timed run for the day eclipsed by over 20 seconds a 2016 Pike’s Peak time set by a stripped-down Tesla Model S P90D dual-motor electric production car a year earlier.

Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team race car driven by Jerome D'Ambrosio and Loic Duval during FIA Formula E competitions from 2016 - 2017 season.

Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team race car driven by Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval during FIA Formula E competitions from 2016 – 2017 season.

Faraday Future also partnered with Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing team to develop an electric-motor drive train that could compete against world-class racing teams through the FIA Formula E racing circuit.

Ten racing teams competed during the 2016-2017 season, including famous names like ABT Schaeffler AUDI Sport, Andretti, DS Virgin Racing, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Mahindra Racing, NextEV NIO, Renault e.dams, TECHEETAH, and Venturi, alongside the Faraday Future Dragon Racing team.

Design rules during the third season of Formula E racing were loosened to allow racing teams to experiment more fully with the electric drive train beyond the fixed battery pack, to include multiple configurations of electric motors, transmission gear box design, AC inverter electronics, and rear mechanical suspensions.

As a first-time entrant during the third year of the FIA Formula E racing seasons, Faraday Future has found its technology integration has some “catching up” to do to compete at a world-class level against seasoned automotive engineers and racing teams from Renault, Jaguar, and Audi, while being tested in real world competition by Formula One veteran drivers Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval:

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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