Faraday Future, the L.A.-based automotive startup, put on a big show-and-tell Monday night in Las Vegas. The Chinese-funded company made a series of promises to radically change the way cars are designed, built and marketed. Not content with that, they also promised to redefine the way we think about our vehicles.
The presentation was capped by the unveiling of a concept vehicle, the FFZERO1. Seen by some as an exercise in excess, this design prototype promised a 1,000 horsepower electric motor and top speed of 200 mph. Slung low, with fins, it seems to beg to be compared to the Batmobile.
Motor critic Susan Carpenter and others dismissed it as ridiculous, and a missed opportunity.
Still, Faraday has a compelling story. They've assembled a rock star roster of talent from auto, tech and aerospace, including veterans of Apple, Google, BMW and Boeing. And they've got some very deep pockets in Chinese partner LeTV, described as "the Netflix of China." Faraday has announced plans to build a manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas, but the company has also been vague about details, including failing to identify the person who serves as its CEO.
Among the more interesting ideas Faraday embraces is one that could replaces the idea of car leasing and ownership with a subscription model. Subscribers could potentially have access to a wide variety of self-driving vehicles, choosing a tiny urban buggy for a trip to the movies, and a full-size cruiser for a family road trip.
To listen to the full interview with Susan Carpenter, click on the blue audio player above.