Faraday Future: A secret new Tesla-rival is building a $1 billion factory in California

Rumours suggest the company could be front for the Apple Car project

A new, major player just entered the electric car market – and it’s ready to build a $1 billion super-factory in California. Called Faraday Future, many have suggested the company is a front for Apple’s Project Titan car project, and that’s not helped by the company’s wish to keep its ownership information a secret.

“We're in stealth mode where we're not revealing ownership,” said a Faraday Future spokesperson. “There's a significant investor who wants the company to stand on its own merit before being associated with it.”

A front for Apple Car, or a rival for Apple and Tesla?

Apple will need to invest billions of pounds in staff and infrastructure to hit the Apple Car’s 2019 release date, and setting up a front could be the best way to do it. Much like Apple’s Project Lightning, Faraday Future has also hired several senior ex-Tesla employees to add to its 400 strong team.

The company also believes that the time is right for the car industry to be “disrupted” by EVs, echoing Apple CEO Tim Cook’s statements last month.

For a more in-depth look at Apple’s Project Titan, read: Everything you need to know about the Apple Car.

"People's lives are changed by their mobile devices, the way that we interact," said Faraday spokeswoman Stacy Morris. “The car industry hasn't caught up sufficiently. The car still feels like a place where you're disconnected.”

A new contender

Although it’s possible Apple has set up a front, it’s more likely that the Faraday Future is backed by Kia Yueting – China’s answer to Steve Jobs. Documents filed by Faraday Future in California link the company to Yueting, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a bold new electric car company from the Far East: Taiwanese startup Thunder Power stole headlines at the Frankfurt Motor Show with its own Tesla rivalling sedan.

Although Faraday Future may not be a clandestine cover for the Apple Car, it’s still exciting news for electric vehicles as it shows the industry is more open than ever. Over the next five years, we’re going to see more EVs from startups such as Thunder Power and Faraday Future, alongside those from more established marques.

There’s still everything to play for in the EV market, and that can only be a good thing for the technology, and for customers.

For a more in-depth look at the Project Titan, read: Everything you need to know about the Apple Car

Apple Car at a glance

Release date

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple will be launching the car in 2019.

Price

Apple hasn’t released any information about the price of the Apple Car, but analysts have predicted the company’s first vehicle will cost $55,000 (£36,000).

Design

Very little is known about the Apple Car itself, but it's likely to adopt a small, compact form factor.

After Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly visited BMW’s factory in Leipzig last year, it’s looking more and more likely that the Apple Car will be a joint project between the two companies.

Interior

The Apple Car should have clean lines, utilitarian design and the attention to detail shown in Jonathan Ive’s existing Apple products.

It’s almost certain that the Apple Car will feature an advanced version of CarPlay too, but, interestingly, reports already suggest that the Apple Car will not be autonomous. 

Drivetrain

We strongly expect the Apple Car to be powered purely on electricity.

For a more in-depth look at Apple’s Project Titan, read: Everything you need to know about the Apple Car.

 

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