By on April 29, 2021

Faraday Future FF 91

Faraday Future hasn’t been making many headlines of late. But it remains an active business entity, surprisingly enough. On Thursday, it announced it had selected Velodyne Lidar Inc. as the exclusive supplier for the sensing/mapping hardware that’s going into its flagship FF91 EV.

Faraday’s missteps have been so frequent and gargantuan, that it would be impossible to give the abridged history without still wasting a large portion of your day. We’ll spare you from that and allow interested parties to dig through older articles about factory snafus, secret management structures, faked prototypes, development setbacks, bankruptcy, and more. The only thing you need to remember is that it is genuinely miraculous that FF still exists as a company – almost like it’s a testament to the utter ridiculousness of some tech startups – that continues to believe it will someday manufacture an electric car. 

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the company but 2021 has been a busy year for the brand, especially considering how quiet 2020 was in comparison to the three years of madness that preceded it. Company founder Jia Yueting declared personal bankruptcy late in 2019, after spending a few years on China’s financial blacklist.

He also became a person of interest for the U.S. Department of Justice, which dispatched trustees to oversee the Chapter 11 situation. They deemed him monetarily untrustworthy, making it incredibly difficult for him to stay on as head of the organization. Jia was replaced as Faraday’s global CEO by Carsten Breitfeld, who previously ran the Chinese EV startup Byton. Though FF has been a revolving door of executives moving between various tech firms and novice carmakers since its inception. The rest of 2020 was devoted to finding new investors while making inroads with suppliers or industry groups.

This year has seen the company assign a CEO to FF China (Xuefeng Chen) and confirm that it would indeed go public via a reverse merger with the special purpose acquisition company Property Solutions Acquisition Corp (one of those blank-check firms that help pull money out of thin air). Despite having some ardent dissenters, this tactic is pretty typical of modern technology startups because it frequently juices the IPO.

Faraday also announced dealings with NVIDIA to use its Drive Orin platform chip to deliver on autonomous driving promises and the signing of a “framework cooperation agreement” with Chinese automotive giant Zhejiang Geely. The duo is supposed to cooperate in technology and engineering support, and plan to explore the possibility of using OEM production services provided by the joint venture between Foxconn and Geely.

That makes the Velodyne Lidar deal the latest, but not the greatest thing currently happening at FF. The company is said to be supplying Faraday with solid-state Velarray H800 lidar sensors necessary for the FF91’s advanced driving aids and (eventually) the mapping required for autonomous driving.

“Velodyne is a well-known industry leader in performance, reliability and price in lidar solutions,” said Breitfeld. “We are embracing the latest technologies – including Velodyne’s Velarray H800 – to develop driver assistance features that help us deliver new levels of safety, driver comfort and convenience. The sensor supports safe navigation and collision avoidance, incorporated in the current vehicle architecture in a way that allows the FF 91 to maintain its future-forward design.”

With the model having been habitually delayed, this likely doesn’t matter to most readers. But Faraday has stated that it intends to launch the FF91 within 12 months of closing its merger with Property Solutions – giving it time to get the IPO out there and amass some capital.

Faraday Future FF 91 profile

[Images: Faraday Future]

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13 Comments on “Faraday Future Amazingly Still Active...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    How many people remain on their payroll? I can’t imagine anyone is stupid enough to work for them.

    • 0 avatar

      I have many so-called “stupid” friends working for FF!

      It really is hard to believe FF is still going… but as ex-FFer, I am still cheering for them!

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Last I checked in it was supposed to be around 450.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Wow – that’s about 10x more than I would have guessed. Maybe there is comfort in numbers when the ship is sinking.

        If that figure is true, they have what – maybe a $100mm annual payroll burn, plus all the cost of actually developing product and infrastructure? So they’ve gotta be burning mid-9 figures per year, easy, maybe a billion.

        I’m astonished at how much venture capital is available for misadventures like this.

        Tesla had a better plan and better execution, but they wouldn’t be alive today without crazy Mr Musk staying the course through the dark days. FF seems to lack such a visionary/obsessive leader (with personal investment), so I remain certain that this plane will run out of runway fairly soon.

        • 0 avatar

          Musk also lucked out with its assembly plant – they picked up a modern assembly facility for pennies on the dollar during the Great Recession. Now, if the could only be more consistent with the assembly quality of their vehicles…

    • 0 avatar

      Stupid people do not get 6 figure compensations. And who knows what stock price will be if they pull it off.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Some skillsets are in demand to the point should the company fold and you lose your job you could make a phone call and have another one. If you are in that boat you are likely not stupid nor are you assuming any real risk and at the end of the day as their money spends the same as anyone elses.

      If it doies work out, the reward could be substantial with respect to stock and growth. Low risk, high reward scenarios seem not stupid. If you have gotten yourself to such a lucritive position you are probably doing fine.

  • avatar

    Well that’s that!
    All they need now is several billion dollars worth of OPM and a time machine to take them back to 2014 so they can build and tool up a factory, design the vehicle, figure out their supply channels, hire and train a work force and be ready to start building these things 12 months from now. Nothing to it!
    Maybe they can merge with Elio Motors, take off one wheel and call it the Next Big Thing!

  • avatar

    Well of course they’re still going! Ten fewer times as many people as want a brown diesel manual wagon are chomping at the bit to get a Faraday and zoom off in the Future. The company senses that pent-up demand and wants to fill it.

  • avatar

    4th picture: If I were single again, a miniaturized human like this might be cheaper to take out on dates.

    Now that I mention it, I saw a movie about this same idea:

    [with “MATT DAMON”]

  • avatar

    Faraday Future is still around?!
    So which is the biggest pipe dream Nikola, FF, Rivian? Which one is the biggest scam?

  • avatar

    I LIKE it. Will need to see the final specs, but I believe it’s very close to if not slightly larger than my ’01 Accord. A 2022 or 2023 SI with a 6-speed might just be the ticket for my mid-life crisis, which is progressing quite on schedule.

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