First Faraday cars rolling out in 2018? Not so fast

Samantha Masunaga
Los Angeles Times

When electric car firm Faraday Future Inc. started work on its $1 billion factory in Nevada on Wednesday, it wasn’t just the groundbreaking itself that piqued the interest of the auto world.

From left, Tom Wessner, VP of Global Supply Chain at Faraday Future, Ding Lei, Co-founder, Global Vice Chairman at See Plan at LeEco, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Dag Reckhorn, VP of Global Manufacturing at FF, turn shovels at Faraday Future's Ground Breaking Ceremony on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in North Las Vegas.

At the ceremony, Faraday reportedly let slip that its first cars would roll out of the factory in 2018 — big news for a secretive startup that has garnered great attention without yet revealing detailed plans about its vehicles or operation.

“We are moving extremely quickly for a project of this size,” Dag Reckhorn, Faraday’s vice president of global manufacturing, said in a statement. “Our aim is to complete a program that would normally take four years and do it in half the time, while still doing it right.”

The Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept vehicle is shown at FF's pre-CES reveal event in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

With some simple arithmetic, one might conclude that Faraday intends to have its factory churning out cars by 2018. But the company cautioned against inferring too much.

“We have said we’re taking a four-year program and our goal is to do it in half the time,” Stacy Morris, Faraday spokeswoman, said Thursday morning. “But we’re not releasing a specific date yet. This is a very complicated project, and so we’re just trying to move as fast as we can while doing it right.”

The company, which is backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, has about 600 workers at a former Nissan sales office in the Los Angeles area.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval looks at a model for a Faraday Future factory, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in North Las Vegas, Nev. The upstart electric car company held an event to mark the start of construction at a Las Vegas-area production plant toward which Nevada had pledged up to $335 million worth of incentives.

Faraday is seen as a potential competitor to Tesla Motors Inc., as both companies focus on the high-end electric car market. Company executives have released few details about plans for its first vehicle, but unveiled a concept car in January.