Officially cementing CES as the next great auto show, tonight Faraday Future unveiled its electric car concept platform that the company hopes will let it compete with the likes of Tesla. And possibly Wayne Enterprises, because the FF-O1 is clearly something right out of Batman’s garage.
Established in 2014, Faraday Future has already grown to some 750 employees globally. Last month it announced plans for a $1 billion manufacturing facility to be built in north Las Vegas starting in just a few weeks. But will it build the FFZERO1 concept the company revealed at CES minutes ago? Not exactly.
The FFZERO1 concept is an over-the-top design study packed full of futuristic features like a smartphone in the steering wheel, touchscreens surrounding the driver, supercar curves, and a cockpit-like layout for the driver and passenger. It sounds too good to be true, and it is.
But Faraday Future, or FF as the company wants everyone to call them, is using the concept to show off its VPA (or Variable Platform Architecture) that allows multiple vehicle types to be built onto the same frame with minimal modifications. So remove all the flash from the FFZERO1 concept and you can build a more practical and affordable vehicle on top of what’s left—like an all-wheel drive pickup truck, or a two-wheel drive sedan.
By starting with a universal platform, Faraday Future puts itself in a position to offer a wide variety of vehicles, while still only needing to churn out the base unit from its new billion dollar factory. The VPA is even flexible enough to accommodate varying numbers of electric motors, and its battery won’t be a single massive brick, but a series of smaller power cells that can be swapped out or upgraded for better performance as needed.
Can Faraday Future deliver as promised? It remains to be seen. The company can certainly raise money and make promises with little difficulty, but that’s a long way from putting an electric vehicle in your driveway.