Business Insider | By Bryan Logan
On January 4 Monday night, FF executives pulled the cover off their FFZERO1 concept — an autonomous, 1,000-horsepower race car. While this example is not likely to be the one to go into production for the consumer market, the concept does showcase the technology FF is developing.
Some of that technology was highlighted in the FFZERO1 Monday night — including a steering wheel that would allow users to dock their smartphones directly into it.
The vehicle is built on FF’s Variable Platform Architecture (VPA), which allows for vehicles that can be built to include up to four motors.
The powertrain configurations can be customized for specific power, range and driving dynamics.
Long way to go
Faraday Future first landed on the auto industry‘s radar last year, when the company opened an office in Southern California, and started hiring a bevy of auto and tech industry talent from places like Tesla, Ford, GM, BMW, and SpaceX.
Since then, FF has also entered into an agreement with lawmakers in Nevada to build a $1 billion factory. The company claims its cars could be hitting the road as early as 2020.
Doubts remain about whether Faraday Future can meet its own production objectives.
As Business Insider’s transportation editor, Matt DeBord, wrote recently, the startup has an incredibly difficult path ahead. Among many other things, FF needs to produce a car that actually works.
DeBord noted that Tesla — the electric-car company the industry most often compares FF to — encountered many challenges while producing its first car, the Roadster, and later the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV.
Tesla is also hindered by repeated production delays that have led to deliveries that were years behind schedule.
There’s also the matter of paltry demand in the electric-car market.
Cheap gas and easy credit helped push auto sales to near-record numbers in 2015. Sales had been on pace to touch 18 million since the summer last year. Electric vehicles accounted for only a miniscule fraction of that total.
Add to that relatively lukewarm performance the notion that even if the legislative stars align in favor of new restrictions on gas-powered vehicles, the number of electric cars on the road in the US probably wouldn’t outnumber the gas-powered ones until at least 2034.
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