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Faraday Future’s electric car plans are in peril

Faraday Future's electric car dreams are in danger.
Image: Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

That Faraday Future 91 electric vehicle that seemed so promising just a few years ago will probably never get made for the masses — and definitely not by 2019.

The California-based would-be Tesla rival has suffered many setbacks, but none as severe as those announced this week.

In a statement sent Tuesday, Faraday Future confirmed that two execs, Pete Savagian and Nick Sampson, have left the company. “We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors,” the statement read. 

But it gets worse from there. 

All employees who joined the electric car startup after May 1 must take a furlough (an unpaid leave of absence) for November and December. Those hired before can opt for the furlough or continue working regularly but at lower pay. Health benefits will continue. It’s also not guaranteed that the furlough will end by December.

“This was an extremely tough decision to make,” the statement read. 

The money problems stem from a messy investment from the Chinese company Evergrande Health Industry Group, who pledged $2 billion. It gave $800 million back in in early 2018 as the lead investor in the company. Then the back-and-forth fighting started. 

In July, Faraday Future claimed the company said it would invest more earlier than planned. But that never happened. FF alleges the investor is keeping the company from accepting other financing and trying to take control and ownership.

Last week the company said it was victorious in the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and an arbitrator decided Evergrande can’t block funding sources. Last week FF also had layoffs.

The statement about the furloughs continued, “We continue to push forward to find additional funding from investors globally as we strive to retain our people and our suppliers.”

The Verge obtained emails from within the company that said the “reduced level of compensation” is $50,000. Sampson reportedly said in an email that the furloughs will “basically shut down the company.”

It’s almost sad to look at the company’s Twitter page that continues to push out optimistic posts about its car production. The website still has a “reserve” button to be one of the first to receive an FF 91.

The future looks dim.

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