The power of the Michigan manufacturer plate is a lovely thing. With it, OEMs can run a variety of vehicles that might otherwise be illegal. For example, one automaker uses manufacturer plates to drive a Citroën C4 Cactus in Detroit, while Ford has one of its plates on a Tesla Model X it purchased. Now, it appears Faraday Future wants in on the game, too.
Michigan's Department of Transportation told The Detroit News that Faraday Future had inquired about manufacturer plates, and that the company has now applied for three of them.
"The plates will be used to help test various FF-vehicle prototypes and features," Faraday Future said in an emailed statement. "We cannot comment on the specifics of those tests at this time."
The plates are required to test vehicles on Michigan roads -- regular plates won't cut it when you're dealing with prototypes and the like. Manufacturers still need to pay for insurance and registration, though, like everybody else. Automakers also regularly use manufacturer plates for vehicles that end up in the press loan fleet.
This is a bit of interesting news regarding Faraday Future, as not much has happened since the company unveiled its first concept, the FFZero1, at CES in January. While FF has been silent, the company that's financing it, China's LeEco, has been making waves with an Aston Martin partnership and an electric car concept of its own.
The FFZero1 is an impressive looking machine, no doubt about it, but many in the media were a bit underwhelmed. The company wants to do battle with other established EV manufacturers, like Tesla, and many had hoped that its first concept would be something geared towards the competition.
FFZero1 isn't the Tesla fighter everybody had hoped for, but the company said that it does have a proper car in the works, and applying for manufacturer plates lets us know that the "vaporware" tag is not yet ready to be applied.
Update, 2:20 p.m. ET: Added manufacturer comment.