Mysterious Electric Car Company Sets Up Shop in Gardena

A Chinese billionaire is quietly working to create his own Tesla

“Faraday Future” is the sign up on the nondescript Gardena building that’s housing offices for China’s answer to Tesla, the California company pushing out luxury electric cars.

After doing some digging, the L.A. Times discovered that Faraday is being bankrolled by one of China’s wealthiest men: 7x over billionaire Jia Yueting. The businessman has already shown a keen interest in the future, introducing a line of smartphones and buying a large stake of a Chinese rideshare company.

Jia looks to be following the blueprint of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, by putting out an expensive, clean car first and then dropping the price points after establishing his brand as one of quality. In fact, many of Faraday’s executives have been “poached” from Tesla.

Faraday’s first car launch could happen in 2017. Like many carmakers, Faraday is working on introducing self-driving features in its vehicles, and possibly, its first model. The key word is “features,” as the 2017 car would not be completely autonomous.

What could be novel for Faraday are its new options for buyers. The company is considering making cars available for shared purchase, where many people co-own the vehicle, as well as a subscription service. The latter would enable a subscriber to order a Faraday to pick him or her up, sort of like a tailored Uber service.