Faraday Future is running on fumes. But it’s still running. The Gardena-based luxury electric car start-up raised $14 million in emergency funding and will lease an old factory near Fresno that will enable it to turn out 10,000 cars a year. The company has dramatically lowered its ambitions. Its goal now is to try to remain solvent enough to start manufacturing and selling the FF 91, a powerful, technology-packed luxurious electric sedan with a base price expected to top $100,000. As recently as last year, the company had plans to turn out 150,000 cars a year from a massive new $5-billion assembly plant near Las Vegas.
California’s politicians and civic leaders have portrayed Tesla as the crown jewel of the state’s efforts to build a new economy for the 21st century while dramatically reducing carbon emissions. Gov. Jerry Brown has set a goal of having 1.5 million battery- or hydrogen-powered “zero emission vehicles” or ZEVs on California roads by 2025, roughly five times their current numbers, with ZEVs being 15 percent of all new car sales by then. Toward that end, the state has been an indirect investor in Tesla through corporate tax breaks and direct subsidies to purchasers of its cars. Tesla has also benefited handsomely by selling credits to other automakers in lieu of their meeting state quotas for making and selling ZEVs. If Tesla doesn’t deliver on its ambitious production and sales goals for Model 3 and finally become profitable, it will not only be a huge setback for Musk and other stockholders, but for the politicians who are also betting on its success.
In early 2016, electric vehicle company Faraday Future celebrated a deal with the state of Nevada—in exchange for building a $1 billion factory that would eventually employ up to 4,500 people, the company would get $335 million in tax cuts from the state. Later that year, Faraday Future negotiated another deal on a former Navy shipyard in Vallejo, California. There, the electric vehicle company would build a second factory and a “customer experience center.” Now, neither of those two projects is happening as planned. In March, Faraday Future said it would not move forward with the Vallejo site and told investors that it would be cutting its billion-dollar Nevada site down considerably, from a three-million-square-foot facility to a 650,000-square-foot facility. Earlier this month, the Le Eco-backed startup said it wouldn’t be building on the Nevada site at all, opting to put a base at a smaller site in either California or Nevada. It will, however, hold the property it bought at the site for “long-term vehicle manufacturing,” according to the Nevada Independent.
Lu Fang, secretary general of the photovoltaics decision in the China Renewable Energy Society, wrote in an article circulating on mainland social media this month that the country’s cumulative capacity of retired panels would reach up to 70 gigawatts (GW) by 2034.
That is three times the scale of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, by power production.
By 2050 these waste panels would add up to 20 million tonnes, or 2,000 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower, according to Lu.
. . . A panel’s lifespan ranges from 20 to 30 years, depending on the environment in which they are used, according to the US Department of Energy. High temperatures can accelerate the ageing process for solar cells, while other negative factors – such as the weight of snow or dust storms – could cause material fatigue on the surface and internal electric circuits, gradually reducing the panel’s power output.
Plans for what was once billed as one of the world’s largest solar power projects will be scaled back dramatically following years of opposition from three environmental groups who filed lawsuits over an endangered rat and other species they said would be harmed by its construction. . . .But San Benito County supervisors, who were not included in the settlement talks, are furious, saying they will lose out on millions of dollars in taxes that they were promised when they originally approved the larger project in 2010. “I can barely speak because I’m so angry,” said Supervisor Anthony Botelho. “This would have generated much-needed revenue. All you have to do is drive down there and see the conditions of our roads. We have minimal amounts of public safety. This was going to be a big thing, but the rug was pulled out from under us. And it was all done in secret.” . . .The county had been counting originally on $5.4 million in sales tax from the large project — and then roughly $2.5 million under the 247-megawatt project. But Joe Paul Gonzalez, the county’s clerk-auditor-recorder, told supervisors that the county would not be receiving any sales tax from the project because Con Edison had purchased the panels in a way that made San Francisco the recipient rather than San Benito County.