Foxconn, the Taiwanese company best known for building Apple’s iPhones, recently… bragged two new electric vehicles at an event in Taipei as the company expanded its plans to do for cars what it has already done for phones.
The company, officially Hon Hai Technology Group but better known as Foxconn, hopes to build 5% of the world’s electric cars by 2025, chairman Liu Young-way said at the event: according to Reuters. His ultimate goal is to one day approach the company’s 40% to 45% share of computer and smartphone manufacturing, he said.
Foxconn has no plans to sell cars under its own name, just as it does not sell Foxconn smartphones. Instead, it aims to build cars for other companies in much the same way that European Magna Steyr builds some vehicles for car manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar. The cars it unveiled are meant to showcase Foxconn’s development and production capabilities.
In the United States, Foxconn recently started building electric pickup trucks at a factory in Lordstown, Ohio, which used to make small cars for General Motors. GM sold the plant in 2019 to Lordstown Motors, a startup company with plans to make electric pickups. Lordstown Motors sold the factory to Foxconn earlier this year, while Foxconn in turn agreed to build Lordstown’s electric pickup truck, the Endurance, there. Lordstown Motors announced production will start on September 29, with customer deliveries expected to begin later this year.
Foxconn also has agreements with Fisker Inc. to build a small, affordable car that Fisker calls “The Pear” in Lordstown. Another California-based startup, Indi EV, has also agreed to let Foxconn build its car, the Indi One, there. Aside from road-driving cars, Foxconn has also agreed to build an electric farm tractor, the Monarch MK-V, at the factory.
It’s not clear how much, if any, of Foxconn’s proprietary engineering is or will be in any of those cars. A Fisker spokesperson indicated that the Pear may have some Foxconn components or software, but will largely be CEO Henrik Fisker’s own design. The Lordstown Endurance pickup will not have Foxconn components, a spokesman said, but the two companies have agreed to work together on future vehicles based on Foxconn engineering.
Foxconn already has one EV ready for production in its home country. The Model C will be sold there as the Luxgen N7, with deliveries expected to begin in the second half of next year, Foxconn said. Luxgen’s parent company, Yulon Group, and Foxconn formed a joint venture in 2021 called Foxtron to develop and manufacture electric vehicles.
The Model C is described as a seven-seat crossover SUV. The newly unveiled Model B city car, shown at the Taipei event, is essentially a smaller version of the Model C. The Model B was designed by Pininfarina of Italy, the company known for decades for designing Ferrari models, but also collaborates with other EV companies such as VinFast of Vietnam. Pininfarina also designed one of Foxconn’s other electric vehicle prototypes, the Model E sedan, which was unveiled last year.
Foxconn also showed off an all-wheel drive electric pickup, which he claims is the “first electric pickup designed and developed in Taiwan.” The Model V is a four-door, five-seat truck that can carry one ton of cargo and tow up to three tons, according to Foxconn.
Several Foxconn companies are part of a large industry group, the MIH Consortium of Mobility in Harmony Consortium, which is jointly developing the core electric vehicle platform underlying Foxconn’s electric vehicles. Foxconn also boasted of its progress in developing solid-state batteries for electric cars, a technology that a number of companies are working on and which is expected to one day significantly increase the range and reduce the weight of electric cars.