The head of BMW’s ‘i’ electric vehicle (EV) team has joined start-up company Faraday Future this week, according to industry journal Automotive News Europe.
Ulrich Kranz, now the chief technology officer at Faraday Future, was with the Bavarian luxury marque for over 30 years. At Faraday Future, he will be tasked with turning the start-up’s FF 91 concept into a production car.
Revealed in January, the FF 91 concept (above) features a 130kWh battery pack which is capable of offering a little over 600 kilometres of range per charge.
The concept’s electric drivetrain – which hasn’t been fully detailed – is claimed to develop a whopping 780kW of power, and capable of propelling the crossover-styled EV from 0-60mph (0-96km/h) in just 2.39 seconds.
Kranz told the publication that while his move may be surprising, he’s “not a job hopper”.
“Some people will probably raise eyebrows,” he said. “But people who know me well know that I can take risks. I’ve always jumped into projects.”
However, it appears Faraday Future has a steep hill to climb before it can release its first model, with numerous reports of financial issues, largely due to a cloud of doubt cast over major investor Jia Yueting – who is also the founder and CEO of LeEco – after his company ran into a serious cash crunch.
To date, Yueting has contributed around US$300 million to Faraday Future to get it up and running.
As a result of LeEco’s issues, Faraday Future has been forced to halt the construction of its US$1 billion EV factory in Las Vegas, Nevada (above), and is now reportedly seeking the funds from external investors.
Despite the potential financial issues with the electric start-up, Kranz will join a team of top executives at Faraday Future, including Stefan Krause – a former CFO at Deutsche Bank – and Nick Sampson, who was instrumental in the development of the Tesla Model S and Model X.