Electric car startup Faraday Future appears to be back on track with development of its first model, the FF91, following a rough couple of years resulting from cash shortages and a senior executive exodus.
The company on Monday announced it has completed the first body-in-white for the FF91 at its plant in Hanford, California.
It's the first time the electric SUV's unibody structure has been assembled using the same processes and tools destined for production models. Prototypes already on the road have been assembled using highly specialized processes.
Faraday Future expects the first customer examples of the FF91 to be ready in December, which means the company will meet its original promise made during the electric SUV's reveal last year to start deliveries by late 2018.
Faraday Future FF91 prototype
Getting the Hanford site to churn out the first body-in-white involved countless hours from the Faraday Future team and suppliers. The process involved the use of over 1,500 self-piercing rivets for joining of the aluminum body parts, plus aluminum resistant spot welding, cold metal transfer welding, and more specialized resistance element welding for joining aluminum with steel. Faraday Future also uses wireless “transducerized” torque tools for safety-critical points, which the company says is a great help in accuracy and comprehensive error-proofing, as well total process connectivity and traceability.
“This is one of many big milestones ahead for FF as we enter the final stage in introducing our new species, the FF91 flagship,” Faraday Future CEO and founder Yueting Jia said in a statement.
In February, Faraday Future received a $1.5 billion investment where $550 million was paid directly and the payment of the balance conditional on certain milestones being met. Immediately after the deal was struck, Faraday Future held a meeting with suppliers and teased a second model, an SUV expected to be called the FF81. This then followed with a June announcement that a Hong Kong firm would buy 45 percent of Faraday Future.
The FF91 in its most potent guise will offer 1,050 horsepower and a 130-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery good for 378 miles of range. Recent high-speed testing of the FF91 showed the car sustaining a constant speed of 120 mph for 55 minutes.