Some would categorize Faraday Future as one of the many so-called “Tesla killers” that have been popping up ever since the Tesla Roadster was introduced over ten years ago. Automakers, small and large are trying to design an electric vehicle that combines performance, technology, aesthetics, and that millennial cool factor with which Tesla Motors seems to have the market cornered. In order to steal any market share from Tesla, an automaker would have to design a high performance EV with subtle styling, yet innovative additions that let the driver and observer know that they are in the midst of an automotive evolution. This balance is hard to maintain, because just swapping an electric drive-train in a Ford Focus is practical, but doesn’t really produce excitement and eco-elitist pride like a Tesla Model 3. But making an electric vehicle look like a post modernist three wheel monstrosity of the 2000’s evidently won’t appeal to the daily commuter.
When a Southern California startup announces it will build an electric car that can go from 0-60mph in 2.39 seconds and drive over 400 miles on a single charge, people were interested. Faraday Future claims their FF91 is not a Tesla killer, but a ‘new species’. The 1050 hp FF91 can accelerate faster than a Tesla Model X and Model S in Ludicrous mode, yet it appears to be a cross between a soccer mom’s minivan and a Tesla Model X. The FF91 was designed by Richard Kim, who designed the BMW i3 the i8 concepts, and you can see the bold characteristics from his previous projects have carried over.
To add to this ridiculousness, the Faraday Future broke the Pikes Peak International Hill climb record for a production EV. Hard to imagine this almost minibus size vehicle beating the record set previously by a stripped down Tesla Model S P90D. Watch as it blasts off silently through the thin mountain air. Well, minus the mandated, annoying car alarm sound that EV’s must operate with during the race.
Insiders say the car will go for roughly $180,000 and reservations are now being taken for $5,000. The Faraday Future FF91 is expected to go into production in 2018. Is it a “Tesla killer”? At that price point, I would say no. This electric crossover is in a market of its own, and there really isn’t anything we can compare it to. Also there have been numerous financial, production, and other delays. So even though Faraday Future made history last month at Pike’s Peak, we really will probably have to wait until 2019 for news about the potential success or failure of this California startup and their first production electric vehicle.