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Secretive upstart Faraday Future is poaching from Tesla to build its own electric car

Secretive upstart Faraday Future is poaching from Tesla to build its own electric car

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A bunch of Valley veterans have taken on funding and set up shop in California to fight the legacy auto industry with an all-electric car. Sound familiar? This isn't Tesla, though: it's Faraday Future, which promises a "launch" in 2017. Beyond that, little is known about who or what Faraday is — as Motor Trend reports, they won't even reveal who's at the helm of the company.

Independent EV builders have come and gone over the past decade — the auto industry is extraordinarily difficult to break into, and even Tesla is hanging on for dear life — but Faraday is at least legitimate enough to have poached from a who's-who of competitors. A LinkedIn search reveals dozens of employees who hail from Tesla, GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler; Motor Trend notes that they've also brought on Richard Kim, who led design on BMW's i8 and i3 concepts, and Pontus Fontaeus, who's worked on interiors for Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Land Rover. It all sounds a little like Magic Leap: there's extraordinary hype here backed by real talent, but there's no consumer-grade product on the horizon — and we know precious little about what that product will be. (Faraday' site features a highly conceptual render of a car, which it promises will be "100% electric, zero-emission, fully-connected and personalized in ways you've never even considered possible.")

Faraday has some interesting poaches under its belt

Motor Trend was able to gather that one of Faraday Future's goals is a battery pack with the highest energy density in the EV industry, aiming for a 15 percent bump over Tesla's top-of-the-line 85 kWh configuration. That's competitive, but Tesla is undoubtedly working on higher-density cells and has the benefit of its ever-growing Supercharger network; barring an enormous investment or some unforeseen innovation, Faraday would probably have to rely on Supercharger's competitor, the multi-manufacturer SAE Combo charger.

Can Faraday hang on until its 2017 launch window? The cards are stacked against it — but then again, they've always been stacked against Tesla, which has still managed to make one of the most interesting (and, arguably, important) vehicles in the industry.

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