LOS ANGELES: Call it Faraday Future, the new Tesla challenger, that has appeared on the radar of mainstream media of late.
The upstart electric car maker from California courted publicity last week with an announcement that it will have a model called FF ready by 2017. It said on its website that it would be “a 100% electric, zero-emission, fully-connected” car that would be highly personalised and would be designed for the Everyman unlike Tesla’s cars which cater to the rich and elite.
Little detail is forthcoming on the car but Faraday Future or FF, as it likes to call itself, will divulge more information in due course.
The company, based in Gardena near Los Angeles, appears to be backed by big investors as it already claims to have 200 employees on its payroll and boast of big-name talents from the EV industry.
The company, set up only last year, is also seeking to hire more engineers, designers and supply chain professionals and is also scouting around for a site for its plant.
Big names from Tesla, Chevrolet, BMW, SpaceX and Lamborghini are on board lending weight that FF is serious about what it plans to do.
A Motor Trend report said Nick Sampson is the FF product Architect, and was the former Vehicle and Chassis Engineer for the Tesla Model S. Others listed in the report included Richard Kim (ex-BMW i8 Concept); Silva Hiti (ex- Chevrolet Volt); Pontus Fontaeus (former Lamborghini, Ferrari, Land Rover); Page Beermann (ex-BMW) and Porter Harris (ex-SpaceX battery expert).
It’s exciting times ahead for FF and it must navigate tough challenges ahead to ensure it does not end up like failed EV maker Fisker Automotive.
Meanwhile, Apple’s rumoured “Project Titan” for an electric car seems to be forging ahead. When you think about it, a modern car is basically a big computer on wheels with numerous computers and sensors managing various sub-systems in the car. So it’s entirely possible that the “Apple Car” is coming though whether it would be an autonomous car is not verifiable at this time.
Like, FF, Apple is reported to have about 200 people working on the project with room for 800 more
Clues include Apple’s meetings with Magna Steyr, contract manufacturer for high-end cars and Apple’s recent hires of experts from the car industry such as David Nelson, John Ireland, and Lauren Ciminera, all from Tesla.
Other employees formerly worked at Ford, and GM and some battery experts were formerly from A123 Systems. Leading the project is Steve Zadesky, Apple VP of Product Design.
The Apple Car, if it ever sees the light of day, is expected to be ready in 2020.