Benefits of Faraday Future electric car plant to ripple through Valley

The Business Journal
By David Castellon

August 22, 2017

When Faraday Future announced over the weekend that its first electric car manufacturing plant will be in Hanford, not everyone was surprised.

Back in 2015, representatives of the Gardena-based startup came to the Valley looking at possible sites for its plant.

“We would love to have to been in the running for that,” said Lee Ann Eager, president and CEO of the Fresno County Economic Development Corp.

But at the time, Faraday was looking for about a 1 million-square-foot building that could be converted into an auto factory with about 1,000 acres of land, and Fresno County had nothing available to fit that bill.

In fact, the only site in the region that might have worked was the long-vacant former Pirelli Tire plant in south Hanford.

Still, with plans to employ more than 1,000 people — a number since refined to about 1,300 — Eager said she and other EDC officials in all eight Valley counties saw the possibility of a car plant in Hanford as a potential boon for all the counties, so they worked together to show Faraday Future the benefits of starting production of its new luxury electric car here.

The company ended up choosing a site in North Las Vegas, with plans to build a 3 million-square-foot plant there. But those plans abruptly changed in recent weeks, with Faraday announcing it wouldn’t build the Nevada plant — at least for now — and a few days later announcing it had signed a lease for the Hanford facility.

And that news has not only excited people in Hanford and the rest of Kings County, but also in neighboring Valley counties.

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