Should Tesla be running scared? Faraday Future is the new kid on the block
Faraday Future plans to sell a "100-percent electric, zero-emission, fully connected" car designed by talent from Tesla, BMW and Lamborghini. According to the company’s website, the California-based start-up will launch a paradigm-shifting all-electric car sometime in 2017.
Named, like Tesla Motors, after a scientist — in this case Michael Faraday, an innovator in electromagnetism — Faraday Future could arguably be dismissed as another high-minded concept with little practical future. The company currently employs 200 at its Gardena, Calif. headquarters, formerly a Nissan research facility, but has no factory and has released only a conceptual rendering of its first, as yet unnamed, vehicle. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t got people talking though, in part due to its impressive executive roster, which is stacked with high-profile hires with experience in designing high-end cars, both electric and otherwise, including Nick Sampson, former vehicle and chassis engineer for Tesla's Model S, and Dag Reckhorn, former Model S director of manufacturing.
Richard Kim, a founding member of BMW's i division, which produced the well-received i3 and i8 electric and plug-in hybrid cars, will oversee the design. Page Beermann, BMW's former creative director, is in charge of exterior design, while Pontus Fontaeus, a former designer for Lamborghini, Ferrari and Volvo, will handle the car's interiors.
“Everyone in the industry knows the caliber of team we're building here,” Faraday spokesman Marcus Nelson said. Nelson said the company was evaluating sites in California, Nevada, Louisiana and Georgia to manufacture the car and would make a final decision later this year.
Faraday's car will have a slightly more powerful battery than the current 85KW Tesla Model S, longer range and better connectivity, Nelson said. He added: "Right now, technology in cars tends to be a patchwork. We wanted to figure out all the connectivity: mobile devices, automation. What if you build a car from the ground up with the future in mind?"
He went on to liken Faraday to Tesla's early days had Telsa veterans like Sampson and Rechhorn not been distracted by "running out of money, egos, supply shortages. They broke a lot of barriers and did a lot great things for the industry. They had to go through a lot of challenges."
Assuming Faraday meets its ambitious production schedule, it will launch its first car into an electric vehicle marketplace that will be vastly more competitive since the Tesla Model S debuted in 2012. Nelson said that Faraday believes the market for electric cars — which accounted for 0.8 percent of new cars registered in the first quarter of 2015 — will grow substantially in the near future as batteries and range improve and costs drop.
"We believe in 10 years the top 10 automakers are going to be totally different," Nelson said. "That's why it's the perfect time."
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.