Faraday Future made a splash with investors in February when it revealed its first production-intent FF 91, a ultra-luxury EV intended to compete with the Tesla Model X.
“Building the first production-intent vehicle at the Hanford plant is an important step towards reaching the start of production in Q3,” said Matt Tall, vice president of manufacturing at Faraday Future at the time.
But five years after it first revealed the car it intended to build, Faraday Future has only 401 preorders for the car.
A small number, a big lie
Given the questionable nature of whether the car will ever appear, and having no idea of what it’s price may be, it’s little wonder.
But the meager number of actual orders is at the heart of why the startup’s chairman — as well as other executives — stepped down. The resignations followed an internal probe to address accusations the company had been misleading investors on the actual number of preorders for its FF 91.
That may be the case, given that following the car’s reveal in 2017, the company claimed it had 64,124 reservations for the Faraday Future FF 91. Yet even later, the company claimed to still have more than 14,000 preorders. Yet last week, the real number emerged: 401.
Lack of meaningful demand
Faraday Future’s 401 orders for the still-unpriced FF 91 is paltry next to the 200,000 preorders for Ford’s F-150 Lightning, which starts at $39,974. Chevrolet has received more than 110,000 reservations for the 2024 Silverado EV, scheduled to arrive in the spring of 2023 with a $39,900 starting price. GM has also received more than 65,000 reservations for its electric GMC Hummer pickup and SUV. Cadillac is about to enter the fray with the Cadillac Lyriq, starting at $59,990.
Meanwhile, Ford stopped taking orders for the 2022 Mustang Mach-E in April due to its inability to meet demand. And in May, Ford battery-electric vehicle sales totaled 6,254, up 222% compared to the same period last year, and growing nearly four times faster than the overall U.S. electric vehicle segment in May.
Other manufacturers are already leaving Faraday Future behind. Mercedes-Benz has already sold 2,091 units of its new EQS EV in the first quarter of 2022, with a starting price of $102,310. And, from 2019 through the first quarter of 2022, Audi sold 26,818 e-tron EVs in the United States. BMW is now offering its i4 and iX BEVs as well, with prices ranging from $55,400 to $105,100.
What buyers are getting
Faraday Future is asking prospective buyers to pony up $1,500 for the Futurist trim or $5,000 for the Futurist Alliance Edition. The deposits are fully refundable and nonbinding, and it’s a good thing. The company has yet to reveal the vehicle’s price.
Production is now expected to start in the third quarter of this year.
The FF91 is a large five-door crossover equipped with three 350-horsepower electric motors backed by a substantial 130-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that powers all four wheels with 1,050 horsepower. That’s enough power to reach 60 mph in 2.39 seconds. Top speed is reported to be 155 mph. Range is said to be up to 378 miles on a charge.
In its July 2021 SEC filing, the company also claims to have a Level 3 autonomous driving system ready, although that isn’t explicitly stated on its website.
Other models are promised
Its second vehicle, the FF 81 EV is slated to arrive in 2023, meant to compete against the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and the BMW 5 Series.
It is expected be contract manufactured by Myoung Shin Co. Ltd., a parts supplier and automotive manufacturer for numerous first tier OEMs headquartered near Seoul, South Korea. That vehicle is expected to be built at a former GM plant in Gunsan. GM sold the plant to the company in 2018. Under GM ownership, the facility manufactured the Chevrolet Cruze and Orlando. It was closed due to underutilization.
It will be followed in 2024 by FF 71, which would go up the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, and the BMW 3-series. Faraday Future also hopes to release a Smart Last Mile Delivery vehicle that same year.
If they build, it will they come?
Despite the infinitesimal number of preorders and the ever increasing competition, the company announced the establishment of its first brand experience center on North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California, a block from Rodeo Drive. Design of the new facility is being undertaken by the Astound Group. The company has signed a 126-month lease for the showroom.
Optimism springs eternal.