EV startup Faraday Future continues its uphill battle to get its flagship EV, the FF 91 into production. According to its latest report, the launch of the FF 91, which was scheduled as early as this month, will be pushed deeper into 2022 as the company seeks additional capital to start production and beyond. This news is merely the latest chapter in the Faraday Future saga of struggle.
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. ($FFIE) was founded in 2014 in Carson, California, south of Los Angeles. The company describes itself as an internet and technology company, an AI product company, a software company, and a user ecosystem company – probably because its original founder Jia Yueting (aka YT Jia) also founded le.com and LeEco – an early investor in Atieva (now Lucid Motors).
In 2015, before unveiling a single vehicle, the EV startup announced $1 billion manufacturing facility in Northern Las Vegas. By 2016, FF had nixed construction plans due to financial issues, pivoting instead toward a refurbished tire manufacturing plant in Hanford, California.
This news was followed by the announcement of its flagship production EV, the FF 91. By the end of 2017, FF’s CFO and CTO both left to form their own company down the street; that new startup became Canoo, a company facing its own financial struggles.
Financial ups and downs have continued to ravage Faraday Future over the years, along with controversies involving layoffs and loans. Eventually, YT Jia stepped down as CEO in 2019 after filing for bankruptcy, but remains chief product and user officer (CPUO).
Former Byton CEO Carsten Breitfeld has taken over as chief since then, and has somewhat righted the EV ship, but not without plenty of new obstacles. In 2021, news leaked that Faraday Future was in talks with Geely to have the FF 91s built in China to cut costs.
All signs seemed full steam ahead as the startup followed up with plans for a second model, the FF 81, to be built in South Korea with the help of contract manufacturer Myoung Shin. Last we heard in February, Faraday Future was touting a pre-production version of the FF 91 ahead of a launch this summer. It even drove!
Today, we’ve learned that FF has punted its EV launch yet again, because it doesn’t have the money… yet again.
Faraday Future is looking to raise at least $325 million
According to a report from Bloomberg, Faraday Future is delaying the launch of its first EV to the third or fourth quarter of 2022, citing the need for additional capital to successfully do so.
Despite a 2021 SPAC merger with blank company Property Solutions Acquisition Corp. and publicly stating it wouldn’t need any additional funding until after the launch of the FF 91, the startup has shared the following contradiction:
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.
The report points out that a recent slide in a company investor deck said the startup is seeking $325 million to continue operations. Apparently, a reason for the production delay and drying up of funds centers around a disagreement between a shareholder group associated with YT Jia and Faraday Future.
In June, the former reportedly demanded the removal of a director from FF’s board. Faraday Future reportedly pushed back, saying it offered that person up to $700,000 in a contract to resign.
In a filing earlier this month, those same shareholders said they had offered Faraday Future “at least $100 million” to continue operations under the condition that the director resign. Days later, the group followed up by accusing FF of not treating its offer “with the gravity, urgency and fairness it deserves in light of” its financial situation.
This story is ongoing, but we wouldn’t hold our breath for an FF 91 delivery anytime soon.