Okay, for those of you haven’t been following the on-going story of the most famous car company to never actually build a car – let me try to succinctly recap the history of Faraday Motors.
After hustling the state of Nevada and several contractors out of hundreds of millions of dollars on a production site that was never completed, due in part to their electric vehicle prototype falling way below expectations, the company moved to California.
And despite running through a billion or so dollars tying to get a vehicle through production, the company apparently found an angel investor willing to stick $2 billion into saving its FF 91 sports car. The company then made an announcement that it would finally be shipping real live cars by the end of 2018.
Well … maybe not.
It seems that the Evergrande Group, that angel investor that acquired 45 percent of the company after pledging the aforementioned $2 billion has only provided $800 million to date, even though Faraday has reportedly met the performance-related goals required to receive the infusion of funds.
According to founder Jia Yueting, Evergrande only made those initial agreements in order to get their hands on Faraday’s intellectual property.
The problem is that – big surprise – Faraday has chewed through that $800 million and needs more money to get the FF 91 to market.
The company could be faced with lay-offs and shorting some suppliers to continue production of a car yet to be introduced to the driving public.
For their part, Evergrande told Reuters that it will provide the remaining $1.2 billion in two installments - in 2019 and 2020. The organization also strongly denies any allegations of wrongdoing and has accused Yueting of trying to rob Evergrande of its right to have a say in the way the company operates.
Wait a minute … an electric car maker with a billionaire founder fighting internally about financials and timelines? As Tyler Sorenson would say “I’ve seen this movie before, and I didn’t like the ending.”
The reality is that the legal battle for the remaining funds could take months to figure out. Meanwhile, the future of the $150,000 FF 91 remains in limbo. But given its history, that’s probably where it feels the most comfortable.