It appears a new challenger has come out of the woodwork to rival Tesla’s dominance of the electric vehicle market. Faraday Future, a new startup in the industry, is planning on establishing its first car factory in the U.S. and is looking at locations in four states for its next one.
When reached for comment, Faraday Future spokesperson Marcus Nelson confirmed the plan with VentureBeat, saying, “We are actively looking for a new manufacturing plant.” He also disclosed that spots in Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, and California are being considered, with a final decision to be made in the third quarter of this year.
Should Faraday Future elect Nevada as the place to set up its factory, it’ll be in direct competition with Tesla; the Elon Musk-led company has a massive land stake in the area, having just purchased 2,000 additional acres for its gigafactory construction. And would California be extra motivated to compete for an electric car factory after having lost out to Nevada for Tesla’s business in 2014? The Golden State already holds bragging rights as the manufacturing home to Tesla’s Model S.
As for Louisiana and Georgia, the former has a relationship with Tesla as part of that company’s supercharger network, while the latter recently enacted a law supporting Tesla’s ability to sell directly to consumers.
Needless to say, competition is going to be tough for Faraday Future, especially because the number of companies in this space is growing and already includes Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Chevrolet. Not only that, but there’s also a raft of startups entering this space: In recent years, Coda Automotive, Wheego Electric Cars, Fisker Automotive, Think, and Tango Commuter Cars have emerged in the market. So what would make Faraday Future special?
But competition is probably not going to stop Faraday Future from moving forward with its ambitions for creating a smart, connected, and clean automobile. The company has been busy hiring some major talent since its founding a year ago, such as Nelson, who is the former CEO of employee advocacy startup Addvocate. In addition, FF brought on board Tesla’s former head of engineering Nick Sampson to be the product architect; Richard Kim, who designed the i8 concept car for BMW; Pontus Fontaeus, a designer who worked for Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Land Rover; and Silva Hiti, who was the head of powertrain for the Chevy Volt.
Whittling a huge foam block to the size of a real car.#WhatTheFFisThis #millcheck pic.twitter.com/cK2R0qebZL
— Faraday Future (@FaradayFuture) July 15, 2015
From our looks at Faraday Future’s social media postings, it appears that the company may not be catering to the general public, but instead is looking to design and build an electric car that is more luxurious and smarter than Tesla. There’s no word on what the price will be for a Faraday Future vehicle, but if you’re price conscious, you might want to stick with Honda, Chevy, or Nissan.
The company currently has a research and development center in Gardena, California and employs more than 200 people. It’s anticipating its initial production will become available in late 2017.
“We don’t want to give up the whole story now,” Nelson cheekily said.