After 20 years with BMW and three more with his own marque (Byton), Carsten Breitfeld was recently named CEO of Faraday Future, an electric-car developer that’s been hampered by financial and organizational issues since its founding in 2014. But he has a plan, and it’s all about sharing.
Is car culture becoming marginalized?
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More people don’t want to own a car, they just want to use it—something to bring you from point A to B and then have it gone. This is where transportation is going in general. There will still be individuals owning nice cars, but it will be a niche segment and very expensive.
How should automakers adapt to this new environment?
It’s definitely a transformation of the business model. Transportation in the future, at least in volume, will be shared. Automakers need to adopt the mind-set found in the consumer-electronics industry, which is centered on the user and reacting rapidly. The car should be considered as a piece of hardware you sell but then continually release new functionality that can be uploaded. It’s about mobility ecosystems.
What exactly is a mobility ecosystem?
We have to convert the car into a smart device on wheels, where the users could be identified by face recognition, for example, and have all of their data and applications downloaded from the cloud within seconds. Imagine combining this kind of product with the shared ride platforms we have today, like Uber.
What is your first step with Faraday?
Our FF 91 halo car. It has 1,050 hp with two electric motors in the rear—capable of torque vectoring—and another in the front, enabling zero to 60 mph in under 3.0 seconds. The four-door will have Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities and a range of more than 300 miles. It will be fun to drive, but in the back you’ll find first-class airline comfort and a digital environment that includes big screens and high-speed connectivity. The first deliveries will be in the third quarter of 2020. ff.com