Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Faraday Future's Zero1 Concept: the Real-Life Homer

If you didn't catch the Faraday Future reveal of its ultra-secretive Zero1 Concept vehicle last night, you didn't miss much. I watched it online and immediately wanted that 45 minutes of my life back. The really sad part was I was excited to see what the company had in store, because I'm all for shaking things up and getting more electric cars out there.

When the sheet was pulled off  the car, the first thing I thought was that the whole thing was a joke. Like so many others, I saw the leaked photos of the FFZero1 concept online a little before the reveal, and dismissed them as pure rubbish. But there it was, plain as day, a car so zany-looking and impractical that it was shocking.

It reminded me of something I couldn't quite zero in on. Later, I realized what it was: The Homer, that ill-fated car from the Simpsons that sunk a man's career.

Instead of giving us a vehicle that is made for the everyman, Faraday Future decided to make something only billionaires could possibly afford. It's a bad foot to start off on, despite the company claiming it will quickly debut more practical models for production. Maybe it will, but right now things don't look so good.

Tesla has been struggling to really pump up its sales numbers because most people can't afford the Model S or Model X. The Model 3 will be incredibly important simply for the fact it promises accessibility.

One other thing about the Faraday Future reveal: the company's executives love the sound of their own voices. There was more talk than substance in the presentation, with the phrase "the future of mobility" thrown out at least 30 times. Topping it all off, the car on the stage was a shell, with no electric powertrain, no batteries and no fun. I won't go so far as to call Faraday Future vaporware, but I'm not defending it against people who are.

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