In April, infrastructure firm AECOM broke ground in the Nevada desert, kicking off construction of a 3-million-square-foot electric car factory that’s destined to become one of the world’s largest buildings. But construction has already ground to a halt over unpaid bills, leading many to cast a skeptical eye over the financial stability of Faraday Future, the electric car company funding the $1 billion plant.
“At this time, Faraday Future is temporarily adjusting their construction schedule with plans to resume in early 2017,” said AECOM in a statement, adding that they “remain fully committed” to seeing the project to completion. The firm has already finished grading the 900-acre site and doing prep work for the building’s massive foundation. But it’s clear that all is not well.
In October, AECOM threatened to halt work after Faraday Future failed to deliver a $21 million deposit due in September to pay for materials and subcontractors. The apparent money problems are leading to concerns about Faraday’s primary financial backer, billionaire media mogul Jia Yueting.
One of the factory’s harshest critics is Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, who called Faraday Future a Ponzi scheme: “You have a new company that has never built a car, building a new plant in the middle of the desert, financed by a mysterious Chinese billionaire. At some point, as with Bernie Madoff, the game ends.” Stay tuned.