Nevada legislators have reportedly asked fledgling automaker Faraday Future to put up collateral before the state moves forward with incentive plans.
The startup last year claimed to have secured at least $1 billion to produce a new electric vehicle at a factory in Nevada by 2017. The announcement was immediately met with skepticism, as the company refused to disclose the source of the capital or even publicly identify its chief executive’s identity.
Public records tied the entity to Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, founder of Beijing-based entertainment company LeEco. Interestingly, LeEco recently partnered with Aston Martin to help co-develop the RapidE concept into a production vehicle.
Despite Aston Martin’s apparent confidence in Jia and LeEco, Nevada wants reassurances of Faraday’s financial viability before the state issues bonds for necessary infrastructure projects at the site, according to Automotive News.
“I’m personally and the office is very much in favor of economic development, but what we don’t want to happen is to issue bonds that won’t be paid,” said state Treasurer Dan Schwartz.
The first signs of trouble reportedly involved Jia’s video company, Leshi Internet Information & Technology, which recently experienced a trading halt on a Chinese stock market. If Leshi is a source of capital for Faraday Future, Schwartz appears to worry that taxpayer dollars could be burned on a pipe dream.
If Faraday Future delivers on its promises, its North Las Vegas factory could eventually employ 4,500 workers.