EV Startup Faraday Future Says FF91 Production Is In Peril If Funding Isn’t Found

No one ever said building a car company was easy – or cheap – and EV startup Faraday Future, which has pushed back production of its FF91 yet again, says more money is needed to get the long-delayed Tesla competitor into production. Originally founded in 2014, Faraday Future has set production timetables for the FF91 numerous times only to push back the date due to financial stress, the pandemic and leadership struggles.

Now, Bloomberg and other outlets report that company principals, which had previously said in June they were on firm financial footing for the start of production this year, now say they will need about $325 million to continue operations through the end of the year – and pushed back the launch once again.

“The company needs additional cash to commercially launch the FF 91 and is currently seeking to raise additional capital to fund its operations through December 31, 2022,” Faraday said in a filing last week.

This journalist was in the audience when the billionaire Faraday Future founder Jia Yueting and his team debuted a rolling prototype at CES in 2017. At the time, he promised production would begin in 2018 for the car, which targeted market-dominating Tesla with a 1,000 -plus horsepower three-motor electric powertrain capable of 0-60 in 2.4 seconds, a luxurious interior replete with numerous screens and reclining rear seats, and a general future-forward design with LED lighting and self-driving technology.

Price for the FF91, of which Faraday Future lists three variants, starts at $300,000, putting it in the realm of luxury cars like Rolls Royce and Bentley. Only Tesla’s upcoming revamped Roadster electric car, which will be the company’s halo car when it reaches production after also seeing a number of delays, is nearly as expensive at $250,000. Tesla has indicated the new Roadster will reach production this year. Faraday Future has said that other variants of the FF91 will be more affordable. According to CNET, Faraday Future has only received 401 preorders for the car.

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While prototypes that appear to be close to production trim have been driven over the last few years, leadership struggles and financial stumbles have plagued the company on the road to actual production. It appeared that the company had finally secured solid financial resources when it went public in a SPAC deal in 2021 that appeared to offer a billion-dollar lifeline.

But the stock (FFIE) has sunk to nearly $2 per share, down from its $19 high last year. Additionally, the company has limited Yeuting’s influence following a fraud probe by the SEC. In 2018, two other co-founders left the company as delays mounted.

Despite the setbacks, Faraday Future has tried to keep moving forward, recently inking a contract with Chinese vehicle megacorp Geely to assist in ramping to production. Geely operates numerous car brands including Volvo, Lotus and Polestar, which also produces electric cars that compete with Tesla and are currently in second-generation production. Polestar electric cars are sold in the US market.

Investors have indicated they would be willing to front Faraday Future more cash, but far less than the $325 million needed and with conditions that include an ouster of a board member. How that will play out remains to be seen.

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