California-based automotive startup and EV hopeful, Faraday Future, has begun to distance itself from any association with principal financier LeEco as the company seeks funding to support production of its 1000+ horsepower FF 91 electric crossover.
“Technically, there is no legal relationship with LeEco,” Krause told CNET’s Tim Stevens in an interview. “They are in one part of our business. They are a supplier and if we would lose them as a supplier there are many suppliers.”
Krause also noted that should LeEco cease to exist in the near future, investors and employees alike need not fear as they are two completely different companies.
The statement by Faraday’s executive follows reports that LeEco has been on thin ice for months. Since the resignation of former CEO and source of the bulk of Faraday’s initial funding, Jia Yeuting (also known as YT), LeEco has laid off nearly 70 percent of its US workforce, and was even called a “Ponzi Scheme” by Chinese internet giant Tencent co-founder Zeng Liqing.
“If you’re not able to spot an apparent Ponzi scheme [like LeEco], you’re neither worthy of working in the investment industry nor suitable for entrepreneurship,” Zeng said in a lengthy post on Chinese social media platform WeChat.
Despite its financial woes, Faraday COO and CFO Stefan Krause remains optimistic, resilient and confident in the company’s endeavors. Faraday continues to detangle themselves from LeEco.
Shifting away from the toxicity of their former financier, Faraday now looks to keep pace with their proposed production schedule of their first production crossover, the FF 91. In the wake of suspending their construction of a Nevada production facility, Faraday recently leased an ex-Pirelli tire plant in Hanford, CA for the production site of the FF 91.
It’s no secret that the EV industry is an exciting and potentially lucrative space to be investing, that’s why Faraday remains resilient in their funding efforts. Faraday still seeks an additional $1 billion in funding to continue development of the FF91, and Krause remains steadfast in his efforts.
“I’ve not had a single investor say no,” Krause said. “Nobody doubts that this industry has a great future. We are not in a dying industry, I think we are in the right place at the right time. We just have to battle a financial weakness right now.”