Faraday Future – A New BMW/Tesla Fighter?

News | July 15th, 2015 by 8
faraday future rear view teaser 750x500

At the moment, in terms of electric vehicle technology, the biggest rival to BMW is Tesla. Tesla has been the leader in pure EVs for …

At the moment, in terms of electric vehicle technology, the biggest rival to BMW is Tesla. Tesla has been the leader in pure EVs for quite some time now. Tesla is one of many Silicon Valley EV startups, but it’s the only one to actually make it to production and become profitable. All of these other EV startups are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. New car companies claim to be creating the next best thing all of the time. However, a new one has popped up and seems to be the real deal. At least for now.

Faraday Future.

faraday future manufacturing plant 750x498

Faraday Future, or FF, is a Silicon Valley based startup aimed at taking the Tesla Model S head on. And they seem to mean business. At the moment, FF is based out of a former Nissan research and design building in Gardena, California. FF currently has over 200 employees and plans on having more than 300 by 2016. FF also claims that its first car, unnamed as of now, will be released into owner’s driveways in 2017. A lofty goal considering FF doesn’t even have manufacturing facility yet and the only thing we know about its first car is that it will be a sort of high-riding sedan and be fully electric. There is a minor render on the FF website, FaradayFuture.com.

So far, this just sounds like another EV startup giving us the typical sales speech on how it will be better than everyone else’s and cheaper and faster and it’ll even make you more attractive. That’s until you see some of the employees FF has hired. Let’s give you a rundown of all of the former automotive workers who now work for FF:

faraday future design team 750x498

  • Nick Sampson — Product Architect, former Vehicle and Chassis Engineering for Tesla Model S
  • Richard Kim — Head Design, former BMW i8 Concept, BMW i3 Concept
  • Silva Hiti — Sr. Dir. of Powertrain, former lead powertrain at Chevy Volt
  • Pontus Fontaeus — Interior Design, former Lamborghini, Ferrari, Land Rover
  • Page Beermann — Exterior Design Chief, former Creative Director at BMW (designed the 3 Series GT)
  • Porter Harris — Batteries, former SpaceX

Those are some pretty esteemed and qualified people who left great jobs at some of the automotive world’s biggest manufacturers to work with FF. Suddenly, FF seems to mean serious business. It has also made some claims as to what its first car will have.

  • It will have 15 percent higher specific energy than a Tesla Model S 85 kW-hr pack. That works out to 98 kW-hr.
  • It’s a multi-cell solution, like Tesla’s.
  • The company is aiming for the highest energy density and specific energy vehicle on the market.
  • It will be single cell, thermal-runaway fault tolerant (will not propagate to other cells)
  • Single or groups of cells can be replaced.
  • Module designed for mass production, utilizing new processes and technologies
  • Same battery design to be used in all vehicles with only a change in capacity (no change in voltage)
  • The higher energy density allows for larger crumple zones than on the Tesla Model S.

So it seems as if FF has done its homework and fully intends to dethrone Tesla. But what does that mean for BMW? Well, I don’t think BMW is going to worry too much. BMW seems to be focused on doing its own thing, focusing on multiple different technologies like plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell powered cars. So BMW is probably not too concerned with yet another Silicon Valley startup claiming to be the next savior of our motoring world.

However, if FF can make as big of an impact on that world as Tesla did, then BMW might have to take notice and realize that there’s another bit player in the game. We can’t know for sure, but it seems as if FF is not messing around.

8 responses to “Faraday Future – A New BMW/Tesla Fighter?”

  1. steven75 says:

    I’d call this another tick on the clock for BMW to get a true 200 mi range EV on the market.

  2. CDspeed says:

    Yeah BMW, they still are not as big a name in electric cars as Nissan/Renault. Until BMW steps up their efforts it’s hardly worth mentioning BMW in the same article as Tesla. The i3 is very high tech, and fun to drive, but it sits closer to a Leaf then a Model S.

    • Chris Llana says:

      It’s true that BMW is not a leader in electric cars, with just one pure EV (compared to a mind-boggling number of ICE models and variants). But the i3 is a standout, not just among EVs, but among all cars, with its advanced construction materials. The LEAF is old-school stamped steel, it doesn’t have single-pedal speed control, and its passive-cooled permanent-magnet motor is outclassed by BMW’s hybrid synchronous motor. The i3 is not in the same class as the LEAF, just as it is not in the same class as the Tesla. Thankfully there are enough EV models now that they don’t all have to be lumped together. I do agree completely that BMW i needs to commit to bringing more pure EVs to market if it wants to be taken seriously.

      • iDriver says:

        Some of the initial momentum built up around the i3 launch is already fading away. i3 sales in Europe (and US) have dropped considerably as other brands have launched BEVs with longer range and/or lower price. The average customer does not know or appreciate all of the high tech engineering/design wizardry that went into a car like the i3 – only die-hard fans will watch the Munro & Assoc. video and get to see the full picture. But any customer buying an EV will look at range and price. With the likes of the KIA Soul EV, the enhanced Renault Zoe, the Mercedes B-Class and some others present in show rooms, BMW will need to come up with an upgraded i3 version soon, and ideally another i model altogether. By the time the next gen Nissan Leaf/ Renault Zoe and VW e-Golf will arrive with 200 miles of range (approx. around 2017), as well as the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3, it will already be too late to make a decision on the next BMW i model.

        • iDriver says:

          BTW – if the lead designer of the i3/i8 is leaving BMW, I would say the writing is on the wall – you would think someone in that position would not leave a company like BMW so soon if there was a bright future for BMW i planned for the near term – but I hope I am proven wrong…

          • Tom says:

            You cant compare working in a big company with over 100k employees than working in a start up. This is totally different, maybe hes just a challenge looking guy.

  3. sharkAttack777 says:

    They are missing autonomous drive expert!

  4. […] Faraday Future has unveiled the FFZero1 – a concept car that the California-based automaker promises will spearhead a complete revolution in the way that we drive.” Yet the car looks more appropriate for a race track than a city street thanks to a claimed 1,000 horsepower, a 0-60 time under 3.0 seconds, and a top speed over 200 miles per hour. […]

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