You know how phenomenal but ultimately failed crowdfunding projects like the Coolest Cooler or Skully AR-1 helmet went? A tantalizing product derailed by internal drama, management ineptitude, or overblown promises, supported by years of regular updates by the backers until the product either dies or shows up on a different retail platform under a different brand name at a higher price. The Faraday Future FF 91 is starting to feel like the first part of the equation — we’re only waiting now to find out if it lives or dies. What we know, thanks to the EPA, is that the Faraday Future executive team didn’t overpromise about the crossover’s range: The EPA rated the FF 91 at 381 miles on a full charge, riding on 22-inch wheels. That’s three miles higher than the company lists for the versions that could pre-ordered at the time of writing.
The interesting bit, though, is that Green Car Reports wrote “Faraday also confirmed to Green Car Reports that the rating is for models with a 142-kwh battery pack.” We haven’t heard of a pack that size in the Faraday arsenal. The company spoke of a 130-kWh pack when it launched the FF 91 in February of this year, and the FF 91 Futurist 3D Tour on Faraday’s web site lists battery capacity at 130 kWh and estimated range at 378 miles. It’s possible the outfit increased capacity to make sure their baby hit the range target, but we won’t know until the company opens up on the matter or until retail units begin finding customer homes.
In the competitive set, the Tesla Model X Plaid is EPA-rated at 311 miles on a charge when sitting on 22-inch wheels, 333 miles when riding on 20-inch wheels. The 1,111-hp Lucid Air Dream Edition R was rated at 520 miles, the Air Dream Edition P at 471 miles, the Air Grand Touring at 516 miles, the Air Pure at 406 miles, but all of those ratings are for sedans on 19-inch wheels.
Back to Faraday, the FF 91 Futurist is the only trim with pre-order slots still open. It and the limited-edition FF 91 Futurist Alliance use that giant pack to power three motors providing a cumulative 1,050 horsepower, able to teleport from standstill to 60 miles per hour in under 2.4 seconds, according to the company. A $1,500 deposit is all it takes to hold an FF 91 Futurist, a paltry amount when put next to the starting price of around $180,000. A base trim called just FF 91 is “coming soon,” its price rumored to be about $120,000, likely indicating a much smaller battery.
Yet again, we’re still waiting to see how the company manages its current challenges. It needs raise money to stay in operation through the end of the year, and it needs more money to put the FF 91 into production. The goal is to have enough funds secured to get lines running before the end of the year. We have a feeling Vegas odds-makers wouldn’t be kind to the company. Nevertheless, as CEO Carsten Breitfeld said, the official EPA number represents “a huge step in getting this car in the hands of our users,” and maybe proof that the engineers know what they’re doing, depending on what’s happening with that battery.