Electric car enthusiasts are pretty quick to drop the term â€œvaporwareâ€ these daysâ€¦ because thereâ€™s a lot of vaporware in this market. Heck, thereâ€™s a lot of vaporware in the car market in general. So, whenÂ Faraday Future* unveiled plans this weekÂ to build high-performance electric cars, it decided to jump straight to the chaseÂ with this statement: â€œWeâ€™re not Tesla. But weâ€™re not Fisker either. Weâ€™re not fucking around.â€
I think itâ€™s a good idea to be realistic and make it clear that you are not claiming to beÂ an equal to Tesla â€” no companyÂ is. It would be great to see more electric car companies launch, survive, and thrive, but it took Tesla nearly a decade to get where it is, so anyone claiming they can match Tesla right out of the blocks needs to have their head checked or be called out for their bullshitting.
The Fisker Karma is apparently about to relaunch after years of difficultyâ€¦ under Chinese ownership, but honestly, letâ€™s not even go there.Â Faraday Futureâ€™s point is that it doesnâ€™t intend to crash and burn like Fisker did. Fair enough.
Faraday Future is still in the early stages of its work, though. It was just founded last year and it is now reportedly looking for a manufacturing facility in the US. That said, it must have some serious investors behind it, as it already has about 200 employees. Former Tesla MotorsÂ Director Vehicle & Chassis Engineering Nick Sampson is apparently Faraday Futureâ€™s Product Architect andÂ VP Product Research & Development, as well as a cofounder. Nick was theÂ Director Vehicle & Chassis Engineering at Tesla from 2010 to 2012, means he was heavily involved in the development of the world-shocking Tesla Model S (see here, here, here, here, and here if you donâ€™t follow Tesla news like itâ€™s a life necessity). Not a bad person to have on your founding executive team.
â€œThe links between FF and Tesla Motors donâ€™t stop here, the company appears to be heavily hiring from Tesla,â€ Elektrekâ€˜s Fred Lambert notes.
Aside from Sampson, a quick LinkedIn research shows a lot of other former key Tesla employees, including Alan Cherry, VP of Human Resources, a former senior Director of HR at Tesla from 2008 to 2012, and quite a few engineers like Umran Ashraf, a former Design Engineer at Tesla, he was a key architect of the Model Sâ€™ aluminum body.
Not directly related to Tesla, but worth mentioning, FF hired Porter Harris, a former Energy Storage Engineer at SpaceX, to lead their battery engineering effort. He left SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, in November last year.
Here are a few other former Tesla employees now working for Faraday Future:
- Sue Neuhauser: Former Senior Lead Designer CMF at Tesla from 2011 to 2015. Now Chief Designer CMF at FF
- Matt Sampson: Former Vehicle Packaging Engineer at Tesla from 2010 to 2015. Now Principal Engineer at FF
- Paul Famiglietti: Former Contract Launch Support Engineer at Tesla from 2012 to 2015. Now Principal Engineer at FF
In other words, yes, this ainâ€™t no joke. This ainâ€™t no Fisker. And these guys certainly arenâ€™t just f***ing around.
Word is that Faraday Future will launch an electric vehicle in 2017. Not many more details are available, but there are some details on the heart of the vehicle, its batteries (via Electrek):
- It will have 15 percent higher specific energy than aÂ Tesla Model SÂ 85 kW-hr pack. That works out to 98 kW-hr.
- Itâ€™s a multi-cell solution, like Teslaâ€™s.
- The company is aiming for the highest energy density and specific energy vehicle on the market.
- It will be single cell, thermal-runaway fault tolerant (will not propagate to other cells)
- Single or groups of cells can be replaced.
- Module designed for mass production, utilizing new processes and technologies
- Same battery design to be used in all vehicles with only a change in capacity (no change in voltage)
- The higher energy density allows for larger crumple zones than on the Tesla Model S.