The upcoming electric vehicle brand Faraday Future has reportedly received a heavy cash injection from Indian automaker Tata.
Chinese media is reporting that Tata purchased 10 per cent of the California-based start-up for $1.2 billion, valuing Faraday - which is yet to make a production vehicle - at $12 billion.
Neither company is currently making comment on the claims, fuelling speculation the reports are true.
The news comes not long after the EV specialist halted plans on its $1 billion Nevada car making plant while it currently prepares for production at an existing and smaller facility in Hanford, California.
But the cash injection may help get the high-capacity Nevada plant back on track which it will need to fulfil its 64,000 pre-orders, each secured with a refundable $5000 deposit.
Faraday gained attention when it revealled the fantasy sports cars FFZERO1, but its first production car is expected to be the FF 91, an all-electric crossover SUV. Faraday claims the all-wheel drive SUV can hit 100km/h from a standstill in just 2.4 seconds while providing a range of approximately 600km from a full battery. Autonomous driving technology includes a 3D LiDar system with 10 cameras and 12 radar sensors which allow the vehicle to steer itself.
Expected production has been moved from this year to early 2018.
For Tata, which owns British brand Jaguar Land Rover, the acquisition will provide access to Faraday’s intellectual property though it has already announced plans to produce its own electric cars such as the Jaguar i-Pace. Use of Faraday Future’s advanced autonomous technology and telematics may prove more valuable, but it will want to distance itself from some of the young company’s recent goings-on.
Earlier this month, Faraday Future confirmed it had lost two former BMW executives, CFO Stefan Krause and CTO Ulrich Kranz.
Faraday accused Krause of hindering fund raising and possible violation of the law, which Krauss later disputed, claiming Faraday Future of being defamatory.
“The company's statement inaccurately portrays the circumstances surrounding my departure, and includes baseless and defamatory statements about me and my contributions to the company.
“I have retained legal counsel and will be exploring all options available to me,” he said.