LOS ANGELES—Struggling electric car startup Faraday Future will use an existing California factory for its first production vehicle, due in 2018, pivoting from an earlier plan to build a $1 billion site from scratch in Nevada.
Faraday signed a lease on a 1 million-sq.-ft. site in Hanford—about 210 miles northwest of its headquarters in Los Angeles—that was formerly a Pirelli tire plant. Conversion of the site will begin in early 2018, in time for Faraday's first vehicle, the FF 91, to start production by the end of the year.
"Our new production facility is the latest demonstration of our commitment to getting FF 91 on the road by the end of 2018," Dag Reckhorn, Faraday's vice president of global manufacturing, said in a statement. "Despite significant headwinds on the path ahead of us, we are laser-focused on that one key milestone."
The move comes after Faraday in July was forced to halt construction of a planned $1 billion facility in a barren industrial park north of Las Vegas. That project was put on hold after Faraday was unable to pay various vendors amid a severe cash crunch facing Faraday backer Jia Yueting and his Chinese company LeEco.
Faraday would not reveal the cost of the 10-year lease. However, last week the firm secured a one-year, $14 million loan from Innovatus Capital Partners by putting up its headquarters as collateral. The loan is intended to help Faraday keep the lights on while it seeks new investors.
Faraday says the Hanford site will employ up to 1,300 people spread over three shifts. The original site in Nevada was to bring as many as 13,000 jobs over the duration of the project.