After announcing plans to locate an electric car manufacturing facility in Hanford, Faraday Future has been relatively mum about definite plans; but one of the car company’s executives paid a visit to Hanford Thursday to give an update on the company.
Dag Reckhorn, Faraday Future’s senior vice president of global manufacturing, talked to members at the Rotary Club of Hanford’s noon meeting Thursday about the company before answering questions from the audience.
Faraday Future signed a lease in August to locate a manufacturing facility in the old Pirelli tire plant. The company immediately hosted a clean-up event to prepare the 1 million square-foot new site for the move-in of manufacturing equipment.
The facility is supposed to be used to manufacture the company’s first electronic vehicle, the FF 91, and hopefully bring it to market.
Reckhorn is in charge of developing the company’s global manufacturing strategy and overseeing all the manufacturing plans, including the construction planning process of the Hanford facility.
Reckhorn admitted that the company has been in the press for both good and bad things, but hoped to show those in the audience that Faraday Future has big plans for Hanford.
“Faraday is not just a car company. What we want to do is something different,” Reckhorn said. “Yes, we have a car, but we want to be a global mobility company.”
Reckhorn said everything the company does is about making life more connected, intuitive and convenient. The most important thing he said the company wants to do is allow people to “live, move and breathe more freely.”
The cars the company wants to build will use clean energy, artificial intelligence and the internet, Reckhorn said. These cars include autonomous driving capabilities and be attuned to the people sitting in the car, from music to travel destinations, he said.
Reckhorn said the car will have three electric motors capable of 1,050 horsepower and go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.39 seconds. He said the battery will have 130 kilowatt hours that takes the car 378 miles, and be charged using a 110-volt outlet.
The leadership team at Faraday Future is fairly new, including COO/CFO Stefan Krause, who is the former CFO of both Deutsche Bank and BMW Global, and CTO Ulrich Kranz, former senior vice president at BMW.
Reckhorn said right now the company is focused on installing all the necessary equipment inside the plant in order to manufacture the cars.
In a presentation to the Rotary Club, Reckhorn showed the flow of the assembly line that will be inside the facility, from body assembly to paint. He said various tests will also be performed inside the plant to make sure the car is ready for the road.
The timeline for when the manufacturing facility will be operation is tentative, Reckhorn said. He said there are a few things the company needs to do before coming to Hanford.
First, Reckhorn said the company must obtain certain permits, including conditional use permits from the city, which he is in town to do.
Secondly, the company has to confirm funding. Reckhorn said he knows the company has been in the press concerning funding issues in the past, but said they have learned from their mistakes and are working on those issues.
In June, Faraday Future dropped out of building a $1 billion, 3-million square-foot facility in Las Vegas amid financial issues.
“We have a very good, capable CFO with Stefan, and he is getting us the money,” Reckhorn said. “That’s the most important thing for me.”
When asked why the company chose to come to Hanford, Reckhorn said the reasons include highway access between San Francisco and Los Angeles, two large electronic vehicle markets, and because there was already an existing plant here.
“I wish I could turn the time back,” Reckhorn said. “Then we would’ve come here two years ago.”
Thirdly, Reckhorn said the company is working on customer demand; because without people to buy the cars, the company can’t create jobs. He said he couldn’t give firm numbers on when or how many people the company is hiring, but said it will definitely be “hundreds of people for sure.”
When asked if local people will be hired, Reckhorn said some of the employees will be brought in from other places, but local employees will also be hired and trained to work there.
“We need local people, for sure,” Reckhorn said.
A spokesman for Faraday Future told the Sentinel in an email Tuesday that work is expected to “ramp-up” on site in late November, following the move out of current tenants. Both city of Hanford and Kings County officials have expressed excitement and hope that the company will come to Hanford and create job growth.
Faraday Future Executive Visits Hanford, by Julissa Zavala, The Sentinel, September 22, 2017.