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Transportation Businesses The Almighty Buck

Electric-Car Startup Faraday Future Building a $1 Billion Factory In California (businessinsider.com) 162

An anonymous reader writes: Faraday Future, an electric car startup based in California, wants to take on Tesla. They're building a $1 billion factory in California. Business Insider reports: "The startup of about 400 employees has poached executive talent from Tesla and also draws its name from a luminary scientist — Michael Faraday — who helped harness for humanity the forces of nature. Even Faraday's public announcement that California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada are finalists for the factory mirrors the approach Tesla took to build a massive battery factory. Nevada won that bidding war among several states last year by offering up to $1.3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives. Faraday hopes to distinguish itself by branding the car less as transportation than a tool for the connected class."
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Electric-Car Startup Faraday Future Building a $1 Billion Factory In California

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is it April Fools' Day?

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @09:30PM (#50890267)
    article: Four states are contenders and the company says to expect an announcement within weeks.
  • Actually Apple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @09:31PM (#50890275)

    There are some that posit that Faraday is a thinly disguised front for Apple.... [thenextweb.com]

    Funders: Undisclosed.

    • Re:Actually Apple (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CaTfiSh ( 724 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @10:33PM (#50890475)
      I can't find the article I originally read, but it posited that the company was being financed, and helmed by the Chinese. This LA Times article lays out pretty much the same information: http://www.latimes.com/busines... [latimes.com]
    • sounds plausible - "faraday" is such an uninspired name, could be a decoy.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I wonder who will be providing the components for the Apple car. They won't be building them themselves, they never do that with the first generation. Maybe by the time the iCar 4S comes out they will but for now it is going to be third party parts and custom Apple software, with an Apple styled shell over the top.

      It will probably be an EV so that narrows it down a bit. The two most advanced companies are Nissan and Tesla. It could be either providing the drive train and chassis... Nissan's EVs are not know

    • ...can't wait for their Faraday iCage appliance then... supplement the walled garden.

    • There are some that posit that Faraday is a thinly disguised front for Apple....

      Plus, Apple's new HQ is in the shape of... A WHEEL!

  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @09:36PM (#50890295) Homepage

    Faraday hopes to distinguish itself by branding the car less as transportation than a tool for the connected class.

    So, luxury-class like Tesla, only with more pretentiousness?

    • by ItsJustAPseudonym ( 1259172 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @09:59PM (#50890375)
      If you need to ask, you're not "connected".
  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @09:36PM (#50890299)

    They aren't proposing to build in just A California, but THE California!

  • 1.) What is the "connected class"? It sounds very elitist, like 1per centers.
    2.) Electric vehicles will always be limited by their battery capacity. Nikola Tesla had shown, back in the Thirties, that resonance coupling can eliminate batteries all together.
    3.) Competing against the fossil fuel industry will go nowhere since the politicians are in the pockets of Big Oil.
    3.) Pilfering talent from Tesla is not going to be without friction. Competition is good for innovation, but co-operation is still better for
    • Only the red politicians are in the pocket of Big Oil. The blue ones are shooting down pipelines and incentivising projects like this.
      • All of them are in the pockets of big oil, democrats just lie and pretend that they're not. Are you naive enough to think that the largest companies on earth don't hedge their bets? Trust me, they donate to both parties.
        • All of them are in the pockets of big oil, democrats just lie and pretend that they're not.

          They're doing a great job of pretending, they've got everyone fooled but you!

      • 'Big Oil' is in the pocket of the people, who demand low fuel costs.

        The weird notion that that fat capitalist on the Monopoly 'Chance' cards is out there, working for Filthy Oil is a little ridiculous.

    • The first gasoline cars were reserved for rich people too. Their range was limited and there was poor infrastructure to support them. Over time that changed. Apple is very good at commoditizing quality products; don't count them out until we've seen what they built. Oil will run out or become prohibitively expensive to extract. I, for one, am glad that someone is working on the problem.
    • 1.) What is the "connected class"? It sounds very elitist, like 1per centers.

      You know, those people who like use the intertoobz, have smartphones and computers. Most of us probably.

      2.) Electric vehicles will always be limited by their battery capacity. Nikola Tesla had shown, back in the Thirties, that resonance coupling can eliminate batteries all together.

      So tell me, exactly which vehicles have unlimited range? If we had the infrastructure in place for electric vehicles now, would you say that someone wanting to start up with diesel or gasoline powered vehicles were always going to be "limited range/"

      3.) Competing against the fossil fuel industry will go nowhere since the politicians are in the pockets of Big Oil.

      Coal is having some issues at the moment,

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )

        So tell me, exactly which vehicles have unlimited range?

        Gasoline vehicles effectively do, owing to a sufficiently large infrastructure of gas stations, and a sufficiently low refill time that it does not significantly impact the duration of a trip that is long enough that requiring such range would matter.

        • So tell me, exactly which vehicles have unlimited range?

          Gasoline vehicles effectively do, owing to a sufficiently large infrastructure of gas stations, and a sufficiently low refill time that it does not significantly impact the duration of a trip that is long enough that requiring such range would matter.

          And if an infrastructure for electric vehicles nationwide existed? And batteries, are thare never going to be any improvements? Seems to be happening pretty regularly these days.

          But more to my point, there are places in the american west that you better plan your trip around some available fuel stations. That "Last Chance Gas" station meme is real.

          Even in relatively highly populated Pennsylvania you can find yourself in trouble. One of my favorite fall rides along Route 555 to 120 runs through mount

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )

            And if an infrastructure for electric vehicles nationwide existed? And batteries, are thare never going to be any improvements? Seems to be happening pretty regularly these days.

            If a sufficient infrastructure for electric cars existed, as well as a brief enough recharge time that does not significantly impact the the overall duration of an otherwise unpaused trip, sure...

            But more to my point, there are places in the american west that you better plan your trip around some available fuel stations. That "L

          • No fueling system is unlimited, but for people who need extremely long range with a gasoline vehicle, it's affordable to add an auxillary tank. I could put one in the bed of my truck that would give me a thousand mile range.

            Nobody can add the batteries to an electric vehicle for that range and have a vehicle that won't twist the wheels off it's axles when they put it in gear.

            • No fueling system is unlimited, but for people who need extremely long range with a gasoline vehicle, it's affordable to add an auxillary tank. I could put one in the bed of my truck that would give me a thousand mile range.

              Nobody can add the batteries to an electric vehicle for that range and have a vehicle that won't twist the wheels off it's axles when they put it in gear.

              I have 4 vehicles now, because not one meets all my needs. I have my little Jeep to go offeroad. I have a higher end Jeep for the missus and trips. I have a motorcycle, and I have an RV for camping. And if Jeep ever comes out with an EV, I'm buying one. Trade in one of the others, depending on the specific type of EV they make.

              Then if I have to drive from Alaska to Mexico, or portland Maine to San Diego, I'll probably take one of the gas vehicles. For now anyhow.

              But since I only take a couple thousa

    • 1. More likely 'young people'. IE, those that live and die by the internet today.
      2. Tesla wank pisses me off some. We're working on resonance coupling, but we only have it efficient(like you'd need it to be for powering an EV), at less than a foot. So we can efficiently charge/power a low-slung EV, but not a high-slung one. Tesla had some good ideas and products, but he eventually went off the deep end. Heck, even Einstein eventually got stuck on his universal theory, and he was mostly a pure theory

    • When I think 'connected class' I think Facebook...... and then I go have a shower.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @11:54PM (#50890741) Homepage

      What is the 'connected class', pretty damn obvious, nothing but an empty marketing spiel, pretty much the norm for modern marketing. The really interesting thing is the rapidly growing battle ground for the electric car market place.

      What is hidden in all this, is why current infernal combustion manufacturers are so slow to change. The problem for them is the massive capital investment in infernal combustion production lines and facilities and cars designed around the infernal combustion engine. Swapping to electrics means wiping that production line capital value straight off the books whilst still saddled (snicker) with the debt and then having to borrow more for electric car production.

      Psychopathic executives will be looking for means by which to make the switch to electric whilst dumping the losses on someone else, preferable the gullible masses pension funds (there is a lot of write offs to occur hence the big grab for US social security funds, so those funds can be used to buy a whole bunch investments destined to fail).

      So existing infernal combustion manufacturers, start off new electric car companies, with ownership buried under layers because of the negative impact on the perceived capital value of the infernal combustion assets. Then they shift debts to the infernal combustion assets and capital assets to the electric car company, this done via debt mechanisms and then they sell the destined to implode infernal combustion assets. Bankruptcy sets in and they then buy back any remaining assets including branding at a huge discount, leaving a trail of debt and golden parachutes behind.

      Currently it makes much more financial sense to start off a new electric car company than it does for an existing infernal combustion engine manufacturer to write off those assets and basically borrow all that money to turn themselves into an electric car manufacturer.

      • What is the 'connected class'

        With more than ten gigabytes in the negative this month for my Verizon plan, it sure as fuck isn't me...

      • Bankruptcy sets in and they then buy back any remaining assets including branding at a huge discount, leaving a trail of debt and golden parachutes behind.

        Like VAG?

      • So existing infernal combustion manufacturers, start off new electric car companies, with ownership buried under layers...

        Interesting, and plausible.

        Queue the corporate welfare, when the parent internal-combustion car company fails.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      1) they probably don't understand it themselves but that just means having a web connected device in your pocket. tadaa you're connected! basically that excludes just few people in china and africa nowadays.

      2) yeah yeah shown to who..
      3) you can still use oil to make cheap electricity.
      4) tesla started such competition anyways. tesla is unlikely to co-operate with anyone.

      but that they're calling it a tool means it will be more for commuting etc, 2cv style.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Faraday hopes to distinguish itself by branding the car less as transportation than a tool for the connected class.

    Who the fuck cares about the marketing bullshit they put in their ads?

    Branding the car "less as transportation"? What the fuck? People view cars first and foremost as transportation.

    This is marketing idiocy in its purest form.

  • Ross Perot's "Great Sucking Sound" in reverse is starting to show up everywhere as the trillions we printed and sent out the trade deficit to China and elsewhere over the last 20 years is now boomeranging back into any possible hard asset class that isn't nailed down. Same goes for bay area real estate. Hopefully the money won't be excessively dumb.

    • Ross Perot's "Great Sucking Sound" in reverse is starting to show up everywhere as the trillions we printed and sent out the trade deficit to China and elsewhere over the last 20 years is now boomeranging back into any possible hard asset class that isn't nailed down. Same goes for bay area real estate. Hopefully the money won't be excessively dumb.

      If I understand your statement, you're saying that the money is coming back as Chinese investment in American hard assets, yes?

      The end result of which will be, eventually, China (and Chinese citizens) owning a sizeable portion of American hard assets. We'll still work, but all the companies and corporate assets will be owned by China.

      (I'm not coming down on China specifically - there are others, and I'm just using China as an example.)

      So what you're saying is that because we've let our trade deficit run unc

      • The end result of which will be, eventually, China (and Chinese citizens) owning a sizeable portion of American hard assets. We'll still work, but all the companies and corporate assets will be owned by China.

        Who is this "we" you speak of? If you want to own hard assets in the US, you can do the same thing that the Chinese do: spend less and invest more. If you decide to squander your money instead, then I have more in common with a Chinese investor than with you, your passport notwithstanding.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        We'll still work, but all the companies and corporate assets will be owned by China.

        Yes, that is what has happened to the UK. We sold all our businesses to foreign investors and competitors. The bosses naturally got massive bonuses for increasing shareholder value. Then when there is a global downturn the UK business is the first to get shut down.

      • by smugfunt ( 8972 )

        So what you're saying is that because we've let our trade deficit run unchecked for many decades, eventually all our property will be owned by the foreign interests.

        Is this an accurate summary?

        The first part of this process is that the US gets all the wealth that China has produced, and China gets all the money the US has produced. This is obviously a better deal for the US.
        The second part of the process is China buys US wealth with their US money. Naturally they will buy the good stuff, not the crap they sold before. So in the end the US has swapped its infrastructure and capital for trinkets. Not such a good deal.

        I'm trying to identify the false assumptions made by standard economic theory

        This will help: Debunking Economics [debunkingeconomics.com]

  • Should I be worried since my tax dollars have been subsidizing Tesla's loss of almost 300 million dollars last year?
  • by Beck_Neard ( 3612467 ) on Sunday November 08, 2015 @11:39PM (#50890713)

    Gas cars seem like they really are doomed to going the way of the horse and buggy. Ultimately we're going to have to have a bunch of different electric car manufacturers otherwise Tesla would be a monopoly, and despite the geek's adoration for Elon Musk's dick, a monopoly is generally a bad thing, even if it's headed by a saint (which Musk is not).

    The big car manufacturers are already hilariously slow moving and behind the curve, and are basically following Tesla's technology and lead. It seems pretty obvious to me that they aren't going to exist in the future except in severely shrunken form. So we urgently need new electric car manufacturers before it's Tesla that's the big clunky traditionalist car manufacturer.

    In other words, this is a good thing and everyone should be happy about it. Except maybe Musk.

    • I'm not sure why you say "Gas cars seem like they really are doomed to going the way of the horse and buggy."

      Do you have evidence to present? I see almost no electric cars and hundreds of gas cars every day. Oil exploration and extraction continues to go on. The only thing that would shut it down is government edict.

      If the Government wants 1,500,000 angry people in gasoline vehicles converging on Washington to shut the place down, they can issue that sort of edict.

      • Batteries are getting cheaper and better every day, while oil will - despite a recent temporary drop in price - continue to inevitably get more and more expensive each day.

        If you want hard numbers, electric cars are already looking pretty attractive. Tesla's model S gets a MPGe of 138, while a typical modern gas car might get 40-50 MPG. If you crunch the numbers, it turn out it costs about $0.08/mile extra to drive a gas car than it does to drive an electric. Over the lifetime of the car, this translates to

        • You're making a lot of statements that are simply not true, much as we wish they were. Simply wanting this all to be true isn't enough. This is not a political fight or an argument to be won, the physics and economics actually has to be worked out properly, or this will just be another alternative engine fad that comes and goes.

          More than half the cost of fueling a gas car is tax. We're still pretty far away from parity, never mind electric cars being cheaper. Right now electric cars are financially suppor

          • You still won't be able to make fair comparisons. Nether electric with yearly fees nor gas cover the costs for road maintenance. Gas tax only covers about half the cost. So what now?

          • You know nothing about physics and economics.

            > If we're just going to shove the problem of fossil fuel burning off on someone else (i.e. a power plant), we're not actually solving any environmental,

            Yes we are. A large, stationary power plant is always going to be way more energy efficient than a small car engine. A car engine is about 20% efficient; new power plant designs are capable of nearly 80% efficiency (especially when used for combined heat and power). 60% efficiency is typical for even older des

      • That's because dirty politics [wikipedia.org] have been keeping them off the road until now. Electric cars do not have many liquids flowing, fewer moving parts, reducing cost of maintenance and ownership. The fuel is already 3x cheaper, with the only questionable element being the battery, which the Moore's law should take care of, if it have not already. Also, as the number of gas cars is reduced, the gas stations start closing doors, accelerating the process.
      • I actually see quite a few electric cars out there, but I'll admit that it's still probably 500:1.

        That said, I somewhat agree--I think the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine is on it's way out. I think it will take a generation or so to happen, so it won't be occurring anytime soon. For example, as much as I love the idea of an electric car, I insist on driving convertibles. The closest thing to an electric convertible is the Tesla roadster, which (a) they don't make anymore and have no plans to

    • Ultimately we're going to have to have a bunch of different electric car manufacturers [...]

      Ultimately, Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda, etc. will buy these different electric car manufacturers.

      • Honda buying out Tesla? Ain't gonna happen. Tesla already has a market cap of $30 bn. That's over half of GM's market cap.

        And it doesn't look like this new company wants to get bought out either.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Tesla get all the press but actually Nissan has done a lot to advance and popularize electric vehicles too. Most of the rapid charging network in the UK was provided by Nissan, for example. They helped develop the CHAdeMO standard for charging EVs, and the rival CCS standard is just an inferior rip-off and the Tesla one clearly borrows a lot of ideas from both.

      Nissan also makes an electric van, an area that Tesla doesn't cover but which is very important Commercial vehicles account for a fair bit of traffic

      • by spage ( 73271 )

        [Nissan] helped develop the CHAdeMO standard for charging EVs, and the rival CCS standard is just an inferior rip-off and the Tesla one clearly borrows a lot of ideas from both.

        CHAdeMO: 62.5 kW, CCS 90 kW, Supercharger 120 kW, (Porsche's Turbocharger 800 V proposal is ?? 240 kW if it's SAE DC Level 3). The politics of standard-setting are terrible, but each is an advance. CHAdeMO is a separate connector to the SAE J1772 they all support.

        Most importantly, Nissan makes an affordable EV that demonstrates that for most people the limited range is not a problem. ... Nissan built a charging network and proved that range anxiety is something you quickly overcome and isn't a big deal anyway.

        The Leaf is a fine car and is deservedly the best-selling EV of all time. But waiting 30 minutes to recharge the car after every 75 minutes of highway driving is no fun. You don't get stranded, but you don't take long trips.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          CHAdeMO has been demonstrated up to 200kW. The connector is more than adequate for it. It's just the current chargers that are limited to about 50kW, and will eventually have to be upgraded. CCS will similarly scale well beyond what even Tesla is currently doing, when vehicles are available to make use of it. Porsche is using CSS.

          I take long trips in my Leaf. It's fine. I would normally stop for quick breaks after that kind of time anyway, just to stretch and grab a drink/bathroom break. I recently did a 34

  • Smells like Fail.

  • Executives do the most generic job in the fucking galaxy. You can take any executive and drop it into any company's executive position and he/she wll perform identically badly.

  • I'm waiting for Einstein Electric, who'll have the slogan "Spooky autos at a distance." Unfortunately I expect them to be entangled with regulators for a relatively long period of time.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Faraday is linked to a chinese multibillionaire http://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/sep/14/legal-documents-link-faraday-future-chinese-/. One doesn't become a billionaire in China without being close or partially owned by the Chinese government and or Chinese military. Case in point are the 3 Chinese hospitality companies thinking about bidding for Starwood (Westin etc.). They are all owned in part by the Chinese government. My guess is that Faraday is no different.

  • Sounds like a cage fight to me...
    • Why? They are most certainly using patents given away by Tesla for the exact purpose of them making and selling electric cars.

  • by tchdab1 ( 164848 ) on Monday November 09, 2015 @07:47AM (#50891723) Homepage

    There's already an established company called Faraday selling electric vehicles:

    https://www.faradaybikes.com/ [faradaybikes.com]

  • Frankly, I'm not excited about driving in a Faraday cage, my cell phone already has enough troubles getting a signal as is.

  • "...less as transportation than a tool for the connected class."

    The idea of which immediately makes it far less interesting than Tesla. Besides... what's the "connected class"? The majority of the population now, wouldn't that be?

    If not Apple, this does smell like a similar mindset. The one thing that Apple has done right in the past is pretty much what Tesla (and Fisker, less successfully) already did with autos—maintain some purity of design in the face of compromising forces. So there's not a new n

  • But where would they get batteries from to compete? Tesla?

  • "branding the car less as transportation than a tool for the connected class"

    Is it only me, but did the marketing boffins make a bad choice of words for an electric car whose main concerns seem to be around the range...

    So by "Connected Class" do they mean the people that have to have their car constantly plugged in? LOL! :p

    Or is it that you have to be part of the mafia or something?

  • Plenty of companies that are doing EVs.
    Instead, these new companies should focus on moving commercial vehicles to EVs, or even nat gas series hybrid.
    Right now, few commercial vehicles get more than 10 MPG. So, if a company comes along that creates a nat gas series hybrid cheaper to OWN and run than current vehicles, they will OWN the market.

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