A company that could be a major new player in the electric car business is planning to build a massive new facility in Nevada. Faraday Future is planning to spend $1 billion to build an electric car factor at the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas, Nev.
Faraday, which gets most of its backing from Chinese TV mogul Jia Yueting, has received around $335 million in tax breaks from the state of Nevada. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that Faraday wants to start building cars at a three million square foot factory in the Apex Industrial Park in the dusty Sin City suburb of North Las Vegas by 2017.
Even though little is known about Faraday Future, Nevada’s legislature was willing to take a risk on the venture because of the state’s depressed economy. Officials, including Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, are desperate to lure jobs to the state and create alternatives to casino employment.
Faraday did reveal a mockup of its first model at the Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) in Las Vegas on Jan. 4. The car, which looks a lot like the Batmobile, is a sports car much like the late-lamented Tesla Roadster. Like Tesla, Faraday apparently hopes to prove itself by making a sports car, then to start manufacturing vehicles for a general audience at some point. The vehicle at CES is apparently a concept car, designed to demonstrate Faraday’s technical expertise, not something it plans to market.
Faraday would be the second major electric car related facility located in Nevada. Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) Gigafactory is close to completion outside Sparks. The Gigafactory might be one reason why Faraday is in Nevada; it will need lithium ion batters, which the Gigafactory will produce. A major problem will be getting the batteries from Sparks in Northern Nevada to Faraday’s site near Las Vegas. There is no direct rail connection between the sites, and the only highway between them is two lanes.
Who is Faraday Future?
Faraday does have high level automotive industry talent, include Page Beerman, fthe ormer creative director at BMW design, and a whole slew of Tesla veterans. That includes Nick Sampson, who was formerly Director of Vehicle & Chassis Engineering at Elon Musk’s Company.
There has also been some speculation that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which has been nosing around the edges of the electric car business, could be behind Faraday. A more likely supposition is that Apple would be working with an established car maker, such as Fiat, and another possibility is that Faraday plans to manufacture electric components and sell them to other companies, such as Ford.
Yet there seems to be information about the car beyond the Batmobile prototype unveiled at CES, although Cleantechnica reported that it will be based on the well-liked Fisker Karma. One has to wonder how this company can enter the market with Ford (NYSE: F) and Volkswagen (OTC: VLKA) poised to spend billions on electric car development.
Still, it looks as if Nevada could become the new Michigan, or at least a major center of the U.S. auto industry. One has to wonder what the future of the Silver State will look like. Could Sin City USA really become America’s new motor city?