Tesla’s competition just keeps growing.
On Thursday, Faraday Future, a California-based car startup, said that it plans to invest $US1 billion in a factory in preparation to begin building its cars by 2017.
Faraday Future, known as FF, is less than two years old and is virtually unknown, but it already has more than 400 employees and is planning to break ground on its new factory next year.
What’s more, the company will be building a premium electric vehicle that features a battery pack that is larger than the battery pack used in any Tesla model, Faraday Future’s Product Development Chief Nick Sampson told the Wall Street Journal.
Sampson, a former Tesla executive, didn’t elaborate on specifics, but the company has already revealed that its cars will have a long range as well as “smart and seamless connectivity.” The company also wouldn’t say how it plans to attract enough investors to spend $US1 billion on a new factory.
Tesla, of course, already has two long-range EVs on the market — the Model S and the Model X — and plans to reveal its mass market Model 3 next year, with production slated for 2017. In September, CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter that the company would also be revealing a Model Y, but he later deleted the tweet.
Tesla’s current vehicles all have a range of 240 miles or more, according to EPA ratings. And the company’s upcoming cars are expected to have a similar range.
Faraday Future is looking to build its new factory in one of four states: California, Nevada, Louisiana, or Georgia. However, it is still undecided on the final location.
“Producing our forward-looking and fully-connected electric vehicles not only requires the latest technology, but the right community partner,” Sampson said in a press statement.
The company isn’t just looking to be another manufacturer of electric vehicles, though.
According to its website it is also “developing other aspects of the automotive and technology industries, including unique ownership models, in-vehicle content and autonomous driving.”
Tesla is also making a big push for autonomous driving and Musk recently hinted the company may also have a plan to get into transportation services.
During an earnings conference call on Tuesday, Musk said that as cars become fully autonomous, ownership will dwindle. He even likened owning a car in 20 years to owning a horse.
However, when he was asked about whether Tesla would get into an Uber-like business — either by selling autonomous vehicles to ride-sharing companies or launching its own platform — he said the company’s strategy was not yet “fully-baked,” implying that the company does have a strategy.
Faraday Future has not yet revealed when it will reveal its vehicle, however, given that it’s aiming to begin production in 2017, it’s likely we could get a glimpse of the vehicle in the next couple of months.
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