Faraday Future Plans to Launch Its First Electric Car This Fall

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Faraday Future's FF 91 electric vehicle.
Courtesy of Faraday Future

Against all odds, Faraday Futures is getting close to delivering a car to consumers.

On Monday, the Gardena-based electric automaker announced a new brand campaign, complete with a slogan (“Born in California. Global DNA.”) celebrating both its local heritage and worldwide designs. Tucked inside the marketing hype, however, was a somewhat surprising detail: The embattled company plans to launch its first electric vehicle, the FF 91, in the third quarter of this year.

Faraday Future’s legal troubles and financial missteps are well-documented at this point, and even as recently as last week,the company was in the headlines for an SEC investigation. But despite those issues, the automaker seems to be building momentum toward a long-awaited product launch. While specs for the FF 91 are not yet finalized, John Schilling, Faraday’s global director of public relations and communications, told dot.LA that the company is planning to produce and deliver 2,400 units of the vehicle in the first 12 months after its Q3 launch.

While that’s a meager number compared to EV heavyweights like Tesla—which recently disclosed that it delivered more than 1 million cars over the past year—it’s at least something that Faraday and its battered shareholders can look forward to.

“We're in the phase to complete the final manufacturing facilities, and really getting ready to deliver this vehicle to the world,” Scott Wang, Faraday’s director of product marketing and go to market, told dot.LA. Executing on that promise will come down to the company’s new manufacturing facility in the San Joaquin Valley city of Hanford, Calif., but Schilling says the company is confident and “making really good progress” on the FF 91.

Faraday’s most recent brush with the SEC stems from allegedly misleading statements it made to investors, including reporting that it had received more than 14,000 reservations for its forthcoming vehicle. In reality, according to an internal review, most of those reservations were unpaid and represented only indications of interest—with the automaker having received only several hundred paid deposits for its cars.

The controversy has led to Faraday restructuring its board and slashing the pay of top executives. While the company’s troubles with securities regulators are far from over, the impending arrival of the FF 91 would bring it some sorely needed good news.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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PCH Driven: Director Jason Wise Talks Wine, Documentaries, and His New Indie Streaming Service SOMMTV

Jamie Williams
­Jamie Williams is the host of the “PCH Driven” podcast, a show about Southern California entrepreneurs, innovators and its driven leaders on their road to success. The series celebrates and reveals the wonders of the human spirit and explores the motivations behind what drives us.
Jason Wise holding wine glass
Image courtesy of Jason Wise

Jason Wise may still consider himself a little kid, but the 33-year-old filmmaker is building an IMDB page that rivals colleagues twice his age.

As the director behind SOMM, SOMM2, SOMM3, and the upcoming SOMM4, Wise has made a career producing award-winning documentary films that peer deep into the wine industry in Southern California and around the world.

On this episode of the PCH Driven podcast, he talks about life growing up in Cleveland as a horrible student, filmmaking, Los Angeles and his latest entrepreneurial endeavor: A streaming service called SOMMTV that features–what else?–documentaries about wine.

The conversation covers some serious ground, but the themes of wine and film work to anchor the discussion, and Wise dispenses bits of sage filmmaking advice.

“With a documentary you can just start filming right now,” he says. “That’s how SOMM came about. I got tossed into that world during the frustration of trying to make a different film, and I just started filming it, because no one could stop me because I was paying for it myself. That’s the thing with docs,” or “The good thing about SOMM is that you can explain it in one sentence: ‘The hardest test in the world is about wine, and you’ve never heard about it.’”

…Or at least maybe you hadn’t before he made his first film. Now with three SOMM documentaries under his belt, Wise is nearing completion of “SOMM4: Cup of Salvation,” which examines the history of wine’s relationship with religion. Wise says it’s “a wild film,” that spans multiple countries, the Vatican and even an active warzone. As he puts it, the idea is to show that “wine is about every subject,” rather than “every subject is about wine.”

For Wise, the transition to launching his own streaming service came out of his frustration with existing platforms holding too much power over the value of the content he produces.

“Do we want Netflix to tell us what our projects are worth or do we want the audience to do that?” he asks.

But unlike giants in the space, SOMMTV has adopted a gradual approach of just adding small bits of content as they develop. Without the need to license 500 or 1,000 hours of programming, Wise has been able to basically bootstrap SOMMTV and provide short form content and other more experimental offerings that typically get passed over by the Hulus and Disneys of the world.

So far, he says, the experiment is working, and now Wise is looking to raise some serious capital to keep up with the voracious appetites of his subscribers.

“Send those VCs my way,” Wise jokes.

Subscribe to PCH Driven on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA reporter David Shultz contributed to this report.