Faraday Future, a fledgling electric carmaker that is plundering Tesla for talent, today announced plans to locate a $1 billion auto manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We have completed a lengthy and thorough site selection process, and are thrilled by the opportunity to partner with Nevada to move this project forward, pending legislative approval,” Dag Reckhorn, Faraday's vice president of global manufacturing, said in a statement. “We are eager to begin production of our vehicle of the future; it will embrace the increasingly intrinsic relationship between technology and mobility.”
The 3-million-square-foot plant would create approximately 4,500 jobs in the area. Faraday had also been considering sites in California, Georgia and Louisiana.
Whether the plan goes forward, however, depends on whether the Nevada Legislature approves state tax abatements for the facility, which would be located in a new industrial park, Apex, in the Interstate 15 corridor.
Jia Yuenting, a Chinese billionaire and founder of an online video company, is a major backer of Faraday. The company’s headquarters are located in a former Nissan research facility in Gardena, Calif.
According to its website, Faraday has nearly 500 employees “of diverse backgrounds spanning the automotive, technology, energy, aerospace and design industries." The four vice presidents listed on its website—of R&D and engineering, manufacturing, human resources, and supply chain—all formerly worked at Tesla. Faraday’s Careers page seeks “top candidates with high-level experience creating innovative technology, electric vehicles and/or automotive engineering, marketing, sales and support functions.”
With today’s announcement, Nevada could be shaping up to be an electric car manufacturing hub. Tesla, which currently manufactures its vehicles in Fremont, Calif., is building its lithium-ion-battery gigafactory outside Sparks, Nevada, expecting to begin production on a planned 500,000 cars per year there in 2017.
Faraday aims to “launch with fully-electric vehicles that will offer smart and seamless connectivity to the outside world.” Along with traditional electric vehicles, it is also working on “unique ownership models, in-vehicle content and autonomous driving.” It plans to launch a concept vehicle at the International Consumer Electronics auto show in January.
The 42-year-old Yueting was the biggest mover on Forbes’ China Rich List in 2015, moving up from No. 78 to No. 15. He is the chair of Leshi TV, one of China’s most popular online video sites.