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Mystery electric car startup unveils prototype

The new concept electric car FFZERO is unveiled by California startup Faraday Future during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Monday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new concept electric car FFZERO is unveiled by California startup Faraday Future during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Monday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LAS VEGAS - The mystery electric car startup Faraday Future, which seeks to "redefine mobility," unveiled its first prototype vehicle on Monday while offering few details on its ownership and structure.

The company called Faraday Future took the wraps off its Batmobile-style vehicle which is part of a plan to compete against the likes of Tesla and reshape the auto sector.

"We are embarking on a complete rethink of what mobility is," said the company’s senior vice president of research and engineering, Nick Sampson, unveiling the "FFZERO1" prototype car on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Sampson said Faraday intends to move "very fast" on its plans and has already announced a $1 billion factory to be built near Las Vegas.

In just 18 months since its founding, Faraday has 750 employees and intends to produce its first car within two years.

Faraday will move fast because it will act "more like a technology company than an automotive company," Sampson said.

At the event, Faraday confirmed a "strategic partnership" with China-based media and tech firm Letv, but did not elaborate on its ownership or even indicate who is its chief executive.

The company told AFP that Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting is among its investors.

Its employees include former executives from Apple, BMW, Google, NASA, Tesla and other prominent firms.

Sampson said Faraday has created a variable architecture platform to create multiple vehicles, and is using techniques such as virtual reality to speed up development.

He also said Faraday was exploring "new types of ownership" for the vehicles, but did not elaborate.

Based in California, Faraday Future announced its factory plans in early December, saying it would be a "first phase" for the new company, which is yet to get a vehicle on the road.

The facility is "something more than an ordinary ’assembly line,’" according to its announcement, and will include three million square feet (280,000 square metres) "for passionate creators and diligent visionaries, where new concepts will be refined and implemented."

It will create 4,500 jobs in the region.

AFP






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