Faraday Future delays the launch of its first electric vehicle

According to a recent regulatory filing, Faraday Future’s first car is still very far in the future.

The California EV company that has flirted with bankruptcy more times than I can count said this week that it needs more cash to launch its first electric vehicle, the FF91. As such, the company is pushing back customer deliveries to the third or fourth quarter of 2022.

That may not sound far away, but Faraday Future isn’t exactly known for its ability to meet deadlines. The company was reporting its first quarter earnings late after going public through a merger with a “blank-check” company. And, of course, Faraday Future has missed several self-imposed deadlines for the launch of the FF91, which has been in development since at least 2016.

The FF91 was expected to launch as soon as this month, but now it will have to wait till the end of this year as the company looks to increase its cash reserves. In February, the company celebrated the completion of its first “production intent” FF91, the ultra-luxury electric SUV that has been in the works for nearly eight years. But “sufficient capital” is still needed, not only to launch FF91 but also for daily operations.

The company has been on shaky ground for most of its existence: Faraday Future said it was going to build a $1 billion factory in the Nevada desert, but never did; It has been bleeding money and employees for years; It put up its headquarters for sale to cover its debts; Emergency investors emerged, only to be later caught in a court battle over control of the money; And the founder and CEO, Jia Yueting, was hiding in the US from Chinese debt collectors.

Eventually, a new CEO was found, Jia filed for personal bankruptcy, and the company saw an opportunity to merge with SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) and publicly take advantage of the new money flowing into the EV startup space.

It’s been a wild ride. And it’s not over yet: The company recently announced an internal investigation that uncovered multiple instances of misrepresentations, leaving yet another leadership shaken. The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are both investigating the company’s SPAC merger.

Those false statements were related to the number of reservations Faraday Future received for the FF91. Investigators found that the company’s claim of receiving more than 14,000 reservations for its FF91 vehicle was potentially misleading because only several hundred of those reservations were paid for.

Given its poor track record, it’s unclear where the company will turn for fresh investments. Faraday Future’s woes aren’t unique among new public EV startups. Companies such as Lordstown, Nikola, Rivian, Lucid, Electric Last Mile Solutions and Canoo have faced many obstacles in the way of producing their first vehicles and beyond. Most have been criticized for increasing their ability to meet their own production goals, deliver on time to customers, or ultimately make a profit.

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