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Would-Be Tesla Competitor Faraday Future Offers New Details

Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept CarFaraday Future FFZERO1 Concept Car
Faraday Future's FFZERO1 concept car.Faraday Future

Faraday Future is a U.S.-based, Chinese-funded startup that has been aggressively ramping up to build an electric car to challenge Elon Musk’s Tesla. The company seems to be emerging from its cloak of secrecy, most recently with manufacturing vice president—and former Tesla exec—Dag Reckhorn offering a few new data points in an interview with The Verge.

Among other reveals, Reckhorn says that Faraday plans to build a variety of cars around a single chassis, with the ability to mix and match batteries, power trains, and presumably body types. He also says the company’s target for its car battery capacity is “20 or 30% over the competitor.” And, helpfully, Faraday’s cars will have “more than one seat”—apparently a reference to the concept racecar Faraday rolled out as part of its public debut.

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Note Reckhorn’s reference to a singular competitor—he believes Faraday’s only peer is Tesla (TSLA), which both says something about Faraday’s ambition, and amounts to some serious side-eye to the Nissan Leafs of the world. Creating a battery even 20% better than Tesla’s would in itself be enough to make Faraday a serious contender in the expanding electric car market.

But whether the company can meet those or other goals is unclear at best. Faraday still publicly says it wants to deliver a car within two years, but Reckhorn told the Verge that they’re only now “moving into beta, getting closer and closer to that reveal.” He also says Faraday Future has nearly completed the design of its factory in Nevada, and will begin construction soon.

As our Katie Fehrenbacher pointed out earlier this year, Faraday’s extremely aggressive timetable casts some doubt on its viability, and the idea that they’ll go from a ‘beta’ vehicle to actual production in less than two years only seems to reinforce that concern.

To see Faraday’s concept car, watch our video:

To put things in perspective, Tesla has faced intense skepticism for wanting to reach full production of its new Model 3 by 2018. But Tesla not only already has a nearly-complete design for that car, but has also been making cars for a decade. The Model 3 will embody the collective wisdom gained during that time.

Even with some poached Tesla talent on board, for Faraday to produce a car in two years that successfully competes with that level of expertise would be, to say the least, impressive.