A band of executives that up until last year were working for Faraday Future have joined forces to launch an electric car startup of their own.
Their new company, called Evelozcity, is based in Los Angeles and already has seed funding of approximately $1 billion from investors in the United States, Europe and China.
The execs include Stefan Krause, Ulrich Kranz and Richard Kim. All three worked at BMW prior to joining Faraday Future. Kim, who heads design at Evelozcity, had a similar role at Faraday Future, while Krause and Kranz are in charge of the company’s operations and technology, respectively.
At Faraday Future, Krause and Kranz were brought in much later to help steer the company after it hit some financial hurdles, primarily due to 2016’s cash crunch experienced by its main Chinese backer LeEco, run by Jia Yueting. However, after butting heads with Jia late last year, they left to form Evelozcity.
From left to right: Stefan Krause, Ulrich Kranz and Richard Kim
Evelozcity’s strategy is to mimic Apple, and to a lesser extent the original Fisker Automotive, by designing and marketing its own products but outsourcing their production. In this way the company hopes to avoid the costly issue of setting up a production facility, which remains one of Faraday Future’s most troubling issues. Production woes are also troubling Tesla, which is experiencing delays and quality issues with its Model 3.
Evelozcity also wants to differentiate itself from Faraday Future and also Tesla by targeting the affordable end of the electric car market. Instead of starting off with large, luxury cars, Evelozcity wants to initially target the three segments of city cars, last-mile delivery cars, and ride-sharing cars. The company’s first cars will be based on a common skateboard-style platform that will house all of the running gear and on which various bodies can be attached. Evelozcity also plans to integrate self-driving systems as the technology materializes. The company’s first model is promised for 2021 and with a range of about 250 miles, The Verge reported on Tuesday.
Given the Evelozcity execs’ recent and close association with Faraday Future, understandably there hasn’t been a clean break-up. Faraday Future in late January filed a lawsuit against Krause alleging that he stole a number of trade secrets and improperly solicited employees to join him at his new startup. Krause so far has denied all of the allegations.
Meanwhile, back at Faraday Future, the company in February received a $1.5 billion lifeline from investors and held a meeting with suppliers where details of future models were provided. The immediate plan is to get the FF91 into production at a plant in Hanford, California by the end of 2018.