- Title: Faraday Future unveils electric vehicle in Las Vegas to kick off CES
- Date: 4th January 2017
- Summary: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 3, 2017) (REUTERS) FARADAY FUTURE'S 'FF 91' BEING UNVEILED PROMOTIONAL VIDEO FOR FARADAY FUTURES "FF91" MORE OF "FF91" ON STAGE AND DRIVING OFF
- Embargoed: 19th January 2017 11:34
- Keywords: Faraday Future CES Las Vegas
- Location: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, UNITED STATES
- City: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XNZARR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future showed off in Las Vegas on Tuesday (January 3) the prototype of a vehicle set for production next year as the China-backed company strives to win credibility in the crowded sector and weather its funding challenges.
The "FF 91", described by its designers as "weird-pretty", is a luxury electric SUV that, Faraday executives say, will be the most technologically advanced on the market when it goes into production in early 2018. Advance reservations for the car - which insiders say will retail for about $180,000 - are being taken for $5,000.
"The enormous amount of connectivity, we've got not just an interior screen, we've got so much more, that level of connectivity it's something that is beyond what anybody else is doing, what anybody else is thinking of doing. And it's the connection that with our strategic partners in LeEco and with other people, it's not just the connectivity, it is the content behind that. It's not just having a portal to the internet it's having a portal to a whole world of connected services," said Nick Sampson, senior vice president of engineering and research and development.
But cash shortages and a recent spate of executive departures have raised questions about the company's prospects.
Faraday is funded and controlled by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the chief executive officer of China's Leshi Holdings Co Ltd, also known as LeEco, which is showing its own prototype electric car, the LeSee Pro, at CES. He is also an investor in California-based Lucid Motors, a competing electric vehicle start-up attending CES this year.
Faraday debuted at CES last year with a concept car not intended to be produced, raising eyebrows over the company's legitimacy and Jia's overall strategy. A cash crunch at LeEco and Faraday's missed payments to a contractor working on its $1 billion Nevada factory have spurred more questions in recent months over Faraday's financial situation.
In late December, LeEco said it was in talks to secure 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) from an unidentified strategic investor.
Executives say the car's modular architecture and flexible battery layout will allow for a faster rollout of future models. The car will have a range of about 378 miles (608 km.) per charge. Its electric motors will generate a combined 1,050 horsepower.
The "FF 91", a long, low, futuristic SUV with a roomy interior has no handles, as doors will open as a driver approaches. Holograms will be projected on the windshield to alert drivers of needed information.
The car will come equipped with a package of sensors, including cameras, radar and lidar, to enable self-driving capability at a future date.
Near the end of the launch, Jia - wearing a black LeEco hoodie - drove the car onstage. He got out of the car and was asked to push a button to make it drive itself to center stage. The car did not move at first.
It made it on a second try.
Sampson blamed the glitch on the exhibition hall.
"It's a complex situation there are many (REPORTER QUESTION) No, if it was on remote control I'm sure that the person controlling it would have corrected that, just a glitch in the self-driving. Outside it was working perfectly, that's why we made that demonstration outside because we knew there were technical challenges. If we look up at the roof of this building there's a lot of steel structure up there that inhibits some of the signals that this car needs to be able to self-drive, so that's why the really crucial thing outside we did there outside because we wanted to make sure that self-parking was as it would be and the thing inside because of the structure we had some technical difficulties," he said.
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