MYSTERY electric car company Faraday Future has shown its vision of an automotive future that looks a cross between a Corvette and the Batmobile.
California-based Faraday Future debuted its sleek electric concept racecar during the annual CES show that focuses on consumer gadgets. The show has become a way for carmakers to show off their latest technological feats.
The 18-month-old company that has remained much of a mystery until recently revealing its primary backer, Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, won US$335 million (RM1.4 billion) worth of incentives from the state of Nevada last month to build a US$1 billion manufacturing facility in Las Vegas suburb.
Emphasising the speed at which it will develop and build cars, the company’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development Nick Sampson told a press conference the company would deliver its first production car in a couple of years, the Associated Press reports.
Sampson said Faraday had so far hired 750 people globally with most at its California headquarters and planned to break ground on its north Las Vegas plant in a few weeks with plans to hire 4500 people there.
He said his company would utilise digital design and testing of parts and modular construction, making it quicker than competitors.
“You don’t need to have a hundred year legacy in the automotive industry to define what the next generation of transportation needs to look and feel like,” Sampson said, taking a stab at traditional car makers and likening the future of cars to the debut of the Apple iPhone nine years ago making several models of cell phones obsolete.
But Sampson wasn’t saying what the company would build first for production, how much it’s spent so far and also wasn’t revealing much more information about the company’s investors. The company is still shopping for a battery supplier, he said.
The presentation included Ding Lei, co-founder of LETV described as the Netflix of China, who said afterward that his company intends to partner with Faraday on research and development.
Sampson said Faraday will be designing only electric cars unlike other car-makers that might have to spend more time redesigning a model to fit a hybrid engine, V6 or V8.
“We’re developing one core motor technology,” Sampson said.
“It’s an extreme tablet on wheels,” said Richard Kim, Faraday’s head of global design, saying the concept included the ability to project images on the road much like a “digital co-pilot,” a smart phone dock in the steering wheel, tunnels below the car to funnel air through and a designed horizontal crease along the sides of the car he called the “UFO” line to signal the car was otherworldly.
It’s a “car of concepts,” he said rather than a concept car.