Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future is ramping up efforts to launch its fully electric vehicles in China and seeking a new round of financing, according to multiple reports.
The debt-ridden firm will open a new plant in China and enlist Chinese automaker Geely to provide contract manufacturing services, according to Reuters, citing people familiar with the plans.
Prospective investors were told that the plant would be built in a “tier-one Chinese city” and would have the capacity to produce more than 100,000 vehicles a year in its initial phase. The company is also planning to build a research center next to the site, the report added.
The Los Angeles-based startup is currently in talks with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group about contract manufacturing services and making improvements on engineering design and adding intelligent auto technologies, including autonomous driving.
Geely will invest $30 million to $40 million in Faraday Future, and the announcement could come as soon as next week, according to 36Kr, adding that a state-backed fund in Zhuhai is investing 2 billion yuan ($309 million) in the startup.
Property developer Evergrande is also taking part in the funding talks, which came as a surprise due to a previous dispute between the two companies in 2018.
Faraday Future is also in merger talks with Property Solutions Acquisition, a deal that would take the company public with a valuation of around $3 billion, according to Bloomberg. The company is expected to submit the listing documents within two weeks.
A spokesperson for Faraday Future declined to comment when contacted by Pandaily.
Founded in 2014 by Chinese businessman Jia Yueting, Faraday Future originally had ambitious plans and was touted by Chinese media as a rival to Ellon Musk’s Tesla.
However, the company was riddled with financial issues, with Jia filing for bankruptcy in October 2019 and stepping down as CEO of Faraday Future. The company is currently led by former BMW-i developer and ex-Byton boss Carsten Breitfeld.
So far, the startup only has one concept vehicle in its portfolio — the fully electric SUV named FF 91, which was announced in 2017 and has yet to go into production. The company previously said the vehicle will be available for sale about a year after the close of a successful round of funding.
Last month, the startup set up a Zhuhai-based subsidiary in Guangdong to sell new energy vehicles (NEVs), conduct research and development of intelligent in-car equipment, and provide NEV-related production & testing facilities.