Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that makes the popular iPhone for Apple, is about to start contract-manufacturing electric vehicles for other companies. However, while it has contented itself with merely making phones for other companies, Foxconn will make its own branded electric vehicles.
What’s more, Foxconn will also make solid-state batteries.
There is confirmation that Foxconn will at least make some of the cars in the US as it has acquired a factory that belonged to Lordstown, an EV startup currently struggling to make its first EVs. The Asian volume manufacturer is building another factory in Wisconsin and could make cars there too.
We already have some details about the EVs Foxconn plans to make, including an SUV, a sedan, and a bus.
From Foxconn’s press statement, the SUV will be called the Model C, the sedan the Model E, and the bus the Model T. Calling the sedan Model E might be problematic in the US, where Tesla had to change from it to the now popular Model 3 under the threat of a lawsuit from Ford who is not even using it for any car yet. It will be interesting to see how Foxconn plans to navigate the legal challenges.
Foxconn says the Model C is based on Hon Hai’s open electric vehicle platform. According to an official statement:
“The Model C is the first model built on Hon Hai’s electric vehicle open platform and is positioned as the intrinsically optimized electric SUV with pure electric nature. The Model C’s four core features are: shape, space, power, and energy consumption. Its design does not only have a minimalist appearance, but it has also significantly minimized the spaces used for mechanical components while maximizing seating space. The Model C, which is 4.64 meters long with a wheelbase of 2.86 meters, offers comfortable seating for 5+2 people and plenty of storage space, making it easy to navigate crowded metro areas while still enjoying the luxury of a larger car.
The Model C, with a low 0.27 drag coefficient, accelerates from 0 to 100 km in 3.8 seconds and delivers an extended range of 700km. Thanks to the open platform sharing advantages, consumers can have a pure electric SUV with high performance, high efficiency, high intelligence, low energy consumption, and large space at a reasonable price comparable to a fuel-powered car.”
If Foxconn makes good with these promises, the Model C will be a good family car with great performance.
The Model E will be jointly developed with performance-car maker Pininfarina, and as such, will be flagship worthy with more range and power:
“The Model E, jointly developed by Hon Hai and Italian design firm Pininfarina, is a technologically innovative luxury flagship sedan that can meet the needs of middle and high-end consumers. At the same time, it is also the high-quality first choice for businesses. The rear seat space can transform into a dedicated mobile office, with personal mobile devices seamlessly connected to the passenger car, enabling a series of smart applications such as face recognition door opening, smart windows, and vehicle and environment interfaces.
In addition to luxury and comfort, the Model E, with high performance and advanced dynamic control technology, delivers a power output of about 750 horsepower and achieves 0 to 100 km acceleration in a staggering 2.8 seconds, better than comparable models in the market and almost at the pace of a Formula One racing car. The Model E also has a 750km range to address the range anxiety of most electric car users.”
Making up the trio is the electric public bus Model T for electrifying mass transit:
“Positioned as an intelligent transportation solution, the Model T is a stylish urban bus. Its high rigid body design and protection meet the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations and standards. In addition, the Model T has completed 200,000km of acceleration endurance test and more than 1,000 hours of rigid strength tests at the Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC) Testing, ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers alike.
In terms of energy consumption and endurance, the Model T’s battery can withstand temperatures of up to 400 degrees across a range of more than 400 kilometers. Under full load conditions, the maximum climbing capacity can reach 25%, and the maximum speed can reach 120 kilometers per hour, providing drivers with a relaxed and smooth driving experience, whilst allowing passengers a comfortable and safe journey.”
With persistent rumors of Apple developing a car, Foxconn could end up producing the EV, thereby extending the relationship already existing between the two companies. It could also make cars for Lordstown, who is now a tenant on Foxconn premises, and Fisker.
Foxconn will be leaning on its experience as a high-volume manufacturer to achieve economies of scale to make a dent in the EV world.