Faraday Future, the secretive electric car company, applied for Michigan manufacturer’s license plates to test self-driving vehicles.
The Detroit News cited Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, who said Faraday Future “contacted him in January about how to apply for plates to test self-driving vehicles there.”
The company has since applied for three manufacturer license plates.
Faraday Future declined to confirm or deny the plates would be used to test autonomous vehicles.
“The plates will be used to help test various FF-vehicle prototypes and features.” said an emailed statement from Faraday rep to the Detroit newspaper. “We cannot comment on the specifics of those tests at this time.”
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The Southern California-based startup was founded two years ago by four ex-Tesla Motors executives, and is backed by Chinese Internet billionaires who want to get into the electric-vehicle game.
It operated in stealth mode until last December when the company came out of the dark, announcing it was investing $1 billion in a Las Vegas, Nevada manufacturing production facility.
The company made headlines at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January with the debut of its FF ZERO 1 concept car.
Batmobile-like, the single seat vehicle (read race car) is one part extreme tablet on wheels and one part high-performance dream car.
Producing 1,000 horsepower, the futuristic car can blast from zero to 60 in less than three seconds and has the capability for full autonomy.
It is believed Faraday Future has no working prototype car but but has been testing “mules” — test vehicles for analyzing powertrain and chassis systems before full prototype vehicles are developed.
As yet, the mysterious company has not revealed — or even talked about — the vehicle it plans to produce at its new factory, but it is expected to be a Tesla Model X challenging long-range all-electric luxury crossover with autonomous capability.