Faraday Future, which, in theory is still considered an electric car designer and manufacturer, has reportedly received a lifeline of $1.5 billion to resume production and actually begin work on a second vehicle.
Just to recap, this is the company backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting that promised Nevada a $1.3 billion, 4,500-job manufacturing facility, but halted construction of the facility and production of their 1,000-horsepower FF 91 electric car after failing to pay contractors and racking up a conservatively estimated $500 million in debt and outstanding vendor payments.
This infusion of funds raises a number of questions. The first of which is where exactly is the money coming from? When Yueting informed employees of the cash infusion, the source was only identified as an anonymous Hong Kong-based investor.
According to Business Insider, the company has already received $550 million, which will be used to pay off some loans, satisfy unpaid vendors and actually complete the purchase and installation of production equipment at their new headquarters about 200 miles north of Los Angeles.
Once the company has proven its’ ability to stave off bankruptcy and begin to actually make cars, the remaining $950 million will be made available.
Now, dumping a fortune into a company yet to even attempt mass production of a $200,000 electric car is enough of a head-scratcher. But making things even more suspicious is that Yueting, who made his fortune as the founder of LeEco - the Chinese version of Netflix, is apparently facing a number of financial issues of his own.
The man whom Forbes once estimated as having a net worth of $3.8 billion, was asked by China’s Securities Regulatory Commission to return to China after taking up residence in California last summer. He’s apparently racked up huge amounts of personal and business debt stemming from failed attempts to expand his business into consumer electronics.
The final strange-but-true element of this story is that the infusion of funds is also being targeted for the production of a second Faraday vehicle. And just to be clear, they haven’t started mass production of the first one yet.
However, a prototype of the FF 81 electric SUV could be ready as soon as the Beijing Auto Show in late April.