Faraday Future: the rise and fall of the electric car startupNovember 14, 2018
Following the EV company’s best and worst moments, from its 2015 debut to its most recent struggles
In early 2015, a small California startup generated a ton of buzz as it stole talent away from Apple, Tesla, SpaceX, and many of the world’s most prominent automakers. The hype reached such a fever pitch that, at one point, some people even believed it was Apple’s self-driving car division masquerading as an up-and-comer.
In reality, the mysterious company turned out to be Faraday Future, an automotive startup funded by Chinese billionaire (and LeEco founder) Jia Yueting. Faraday Future made big claims about “reformatting” the auto industry with a tech-forward luxury electric SUV that would beat the fastest Tesla in a drag race. It announced plans to build a $1 billion factory in the Nevada desert, and it promised that its cars would create a “third internet living space” when they eventually hit the road.
Building a car company from scratch isn’t easy — just look at how much effort it took to get Tesla to where it is today — and by all accounts, Jia didn’t make it any easier for Faraday Future. The company ran into a number of financial and organizational problems, lost executives and employees, and the dream of a factory in the desert along the way. What began as a story about an American automotive startup has turned into one about a troubled company with many ties to China, which deepened as Faraday Future came up against its biggest crisis yet. The Verge has followed the repeated rise and fall of Faraday Future since the beginning and uncovered many of the hows and whys that explain where the company is today.