Inside Faraday Future, the secretive car company chasing Tesla

Inside a suburban Los Angeles industrial building that once served as an R&D facility for Japanese automotive giant Nissan, natural midday light spills through the windows. Today, a very different company occupies this space. I arrive at lunchtime. It’s catered, in true startup fashion — there’s no time to have your employees actually leaving the building for lunch, of course. By 1 o’clock, the cafeteria cleared out; there isn’t much time for kicking back, even on a Friday afternoon.

This is the headquarters of Faraday Future, a young, seemingly well-funded company with an odd name that hasn’t said much about what it’s working on. We know that electric cars are involved, and we know that they’re probably years away from production. In the year and a half since Faraday’s founding, it has transformed this facility into a bustling corporate campus, stacked with a who’s-who list of poaches from some of California’s most prominent tech companies.

Tesla is one of those companies. For the past decade, Tesla has made the cars of the future: sleekly designed, technically advanced machines that brought with them a vision of how amazing and practical electric cars could be. Tesla, despite its problems and lack of profitability, has disrupted the auto industry by forcing it to think bigger. But now trading as a public company, Tesla is no longer the feisty new kid on the block — and it could be ripe for disruption, if Faraday gets its way.