Faraday Future says it has had test mules on the road for over a year, testing every facet of its cars from powertrains to suspensions. Electrical architecture and control systems as well as the battery itself have also been put through their paces. Reportedly, the test mules have operated successfully in some of the world’s harshest environments. Test mules are often heavily disguised and bear no outward resemblance to a production ready car.
“Some people call a mule a ‘hacked-up car,'” Matt Lubbers, Faraday’s brakes and chassis control engineer said. “They may not look like a production vehicle, but they certainly run like one.” He praises Faraday’s strategy of testing multiple technologies in one mule. “They’re all here. This car is FF to its core.”
Faraday Future held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for its new billion dollar factory in North Las Vegas recently. Afterwards, Nick Sampson, senior vice president for research and development, told Business Insider, “We’re testing both mechanical and software systems, and before the end of this year, we’ll have full prototypes that represent our production cars.” Lubbers tells The Verge that Faraday Future’s management style, which features a “lack of red tape” and “effortless communication and workflow,” is speeding the development process faster than would be possible for other companies.
Very little is known about the car or cars Faraday Future intends to bring to market. The company has been granted one US patent and says it has 99 more pending. The company released the teaser photo you see above last week, which may or may not bear any relationship to an actual car. It also posted a short video on YouTube that makes it pretty clear its cars will be electric.
In China last week, LeEco — which is backed by the same person behind Faraday Future — did unveil an actual 4 door concept car. Known as LeSEE, it will go on display at the Beijing auto show on Monday. One would assume that two companies backed by the same person would build similar cars, but we won’t know more about for some time. When the LeSEE is scheduled for production in unclear, but it seems unlikely the US factory will be ready to start production for 2 to 3 years, no matter how streamlined the company’s management style may be.