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An electric vehicle startup with a troubled past seeks a SPAC

October 6, 2020, 2:27 PM UTC

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Electric-vehicle startups have been tying up with Special Purpose Acquisition companies. Faraday Future, a prominent startup in the space that fell from grace after blowing through billions, now says it too plans to go public via merger with a blank check company.

In an interview with Reuters, Faraday Future’s CEO Carsten Brietfeld says the company is working on a deal that will be announced “hopefully quite soon.”

Founded in 2014, the electric vehicle startup was hyped as a rival to Tesla with lofty promises of investing $1 billion in Nevada to build a car factory as well as a Batmobile-esque car. But it turned out Faraday’s future was more far away than anticipated. In 2017, the company abandoned plans for the factory as top executives left the company, and its debut car, the FF 91, remains elusive. In late 2019, Faraday Future founder Jia Yueting resigned as CEO and later filed for bankruptcy in the hopes of clearing himself of some $3.6 billion in debt that he had accrued while building up Faraday and other enterprises that had once valued him as the 17th richest man in China.

Even though Jia is no longer leading the company, his stake still remained a lingering issue, with Breitfeld telling Reuters that it has been an obstacle in onboarding new investors. Jia, he added, no longer owns stock in Faraday.

New owners or not, with the pandemic looming, Faraday Future has yet to come through with its first and flagship product: In October of last year, my colleague Eamon Barrett reported that the company planned to release the FF 91 SUV model by September. Now, the company is slated to deliver its flagship product nine months after securing funding through a SPAC. 

Who knows how that timeline will turn out. 

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda


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