Chinese billionaire Faraday Future plans Tesla challenge from Vegas

A Chinese billionaire is betting a suburb in Las Vegas will give him the winning hand in the electric car market. In fact, he's willing to gamble $1 billion on it.

Jia Yueting, the founder of a online video company in China, has sent a letter to the Nevada legislature outlining his plan for a final assembly plant that will build electric vehicles for his new company, Faraday Future.

"We hope to bring our $1 billion investment to North Las Vegas and open our first manufacturing facility there, creating 4,500 jobs," Jia wrote in a letter obtained by CNBC.

Faraday Future plans to show its first vehicle design concept at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Vegas, then introduce that vehicle in 2017. When it would be built and ultimately sold depends on how quickly the Vegas plant comes together.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval will hold a press conference on Thursday announcing the investment.

After that, a special session of the Nevada legislature is expected to be convened to approve tax incentives for Faraday Future.

So, how much of threat does this start-up pose to Tesla?

At this point, none. Still, Faraday Future has assembled an impressive group of executives who previously worked for Tesla, BMW and other auto and tech companies. The company has offices in the Los Angeles' Silicon Valley, Beijing in China and Duesseldorf, Germany.

What remains to be seen is who is running Faraday Future, as it moves quickly to get its first vehicle out on the road. So far, the company has not revealed the name of its CEO.

In his letter to leaders of Nevada, Jia summarized the very ambitious plans of Faraday Future by writing, "We plan to revolutionize the automobile industry by creating an integrated, intelligent mobility system that protects the earth and improves the living environment of mankind, so that everyone can breathe clean air and enjoy a seamlessly connected lifestyle."

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