Faraday Future’s Global Chief Executive Ding Lei has reportedly stepped aside from leading the electric car manufacturer, following a string of negative reports, including the stoppage of construction at its Nevada factory due to a cash shortage, and an exodus of senior executives.
Lei was never publicly named as Faraday Future’s chief executive, though several employees at the firm told the Business Journal in January that he was the de facto leader. Lei is still employed with LeEco of Beijing, one of Faraday Future’s largest investors and closest business partner, but according to several sources cited by the Verge he will no longer be overseeing the Gardena electric car manufacturer.
Faraday Future came to prominence after a long and much-hyped public relations campaign in 2014 that suggested the mysterious company would upend established electric car manufacturers, such as Tesla Motors Co. However, the firm’s first unveiling of its efforts, the FFZero1 Concept, at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016 raised eyebrows. The Batmobile-like concept vehicle claimed performance of 1,000 horsepower, the ability to go from zero to 60 miles an hour in less than three seconds, and a top speed of over 200 miles an hour - those specs were all theoretical, however, because the car on display was not functional.
The company has promised to follow up with a functional prototype car at a media event on Jan. 3, ahead CES 2017, but issues with executive departures and factory construction delays caused by cash shortages have cast doubt on whether the firm will be able to manufacture and sell its vehicles at scale. Earlier this month, Faraday Future dismissed skepticism in a series of postings to Twitter.
“Deliberate negative info from press and competitors is the welcomed risk of innovation,” the company posted on Twitter. “Skepticism and negativity only strengthens our conviction to redefine sustainable mobility.”
Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.
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