Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer best known for assembling the Apple iPhone, introduced an EV platform at the Foxconn Technology Day 2020 event on October 16, 2020. At the Foxconn Technology Day 2021 event on October 18, 2021, the company unveiled three EVs, including an SUV called Foxtron Model C.
In November 2020, Foxconn Group and Yulon Group, a Taiwanese automaker, established a joint venture company called ‘Honghua Advanced.’ The English name of the joint venture company is ‘Foxtron.’ Called the ‘MIH Open Platform’, Foxconn’s EV platform is an open-source solution for OEMs to develop new electric cars. The Taiwanese company itself would also manufacture EVs on this platform. It says it wants to become the Android of electric cars by offering modular solutions for OEMs.
Foxtron Model C
The Model C is the first electric vehicle from Honghua Advanced or Foxtron. The company says that it hasn’t given its first EV a minimalist appearance, but it has designed it such that the mechanical components occupy a significantly lesser space, which leads to a higher seating area.
Aggressively designed headlights and tail lights should give the SUV an enhanced road presence. The interior is simple and adheres to the trending reduced design philosophy. The electric SUV has a compact, fully digital instrument cluster and a large touchscreen infotainment system, both residing atop the horizontal dashboard, a compact steering wheel with a flattened bottom, and a white-black two-tone color scheme.
Video Source: YouTube/鴻海
Measuring 182.7 in. (4.64 meters) in length, the Foxtron Model C is 2.2 in. longer than the VW ID.4 (180.5 in.). However, it has a 112.6-inch-long wheelbase, which is 3.7 inches longer than that of the German electric SUV (108.9 in.). The drag coefficient is also better – 0.27 Cd (ID.4: 0.28 Cd). Moreover, this model will be available as a seven-seater with a 2+3+2 seating layout optionally, which will make it suitable for large families.
Though the Foxtron Model C is a people mover, it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h or 0 to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. This acceleration time specifically applies to its performance variant with 400 horsepower, 700 Nm (516 lb.-ft.) of torque, and AWD drivetrain layout.
The range of the Foxtron Model C is also impressive – 700 km or 435 miles, with an energy consumption of only 13.4 kWh per 100 km/62 miles. Foxtron hasn’t disclosed the battery pack capacity, but the range and energy consumption figures indicate that it’s 93.8 kWh. The company plans to launch the Model C in Taiwan in 2023.
Foxtron U.S. launch
The Foxtron Model C could arrive in the U.S. in the foreseeable future. Electric vehicle start-up Lordstown Motors announced on November 10, 2021, that it will sell the Lordstown facility located in the U.S. state of Ohio to Foxconn for USD 230 million. The company is excluding certain plant assets such as the battery module and pack lines and motor assembly line from the deal, though. Foxconn should complete the acquisition of the Lordstown factory by April 15, 2022, as that’s the date by which Lordstown Motors wants to receive the complete payment.
Lordstown Motors and Foxconn plan to co-design and develop global commercial fleet vehicles based on the MIH platform. Both companies will have the right to launch them in North America and other regions globally. A report from Reuters in October 2021 had said that Foxconn is considering launching EVs in European countries as well. Foxconn might give a clear view of the global production plans in the coming months.
Foxconn electric car platform & ambitions
The Foxconn MIH electric car platform has customizable elements including size (for hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, MPVs, etc.,), wheelbase, suspension type, and battery size. Manufacturers can fine-tune these elements for their individual needs, and the assembly will be done by Foxconn.
Chairman Liu Young-way said the company is targeting a 10 per cent share of the global EV market as soon as 2025; as per a report from Allied Market Research, the electric vehicle market would be worth USD 800 billion by 2027.
Foxconn plans to introduce a solid-state battery for electric cars in 2024, claiming its superiority over today’s lithium-ion-equipped electric cars. This could give the company leverage to become a potential part supplier for future electric cars and SUVs. Already, carmakers are working towards the next generation of electric efficiency and range, with Mercedes announcing the Vision EQXX with 780 km (485 miles) of range.
Foxconn is not new to the auto industry; in January 2020 it signed a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler (FCA) to build electric vehicles in China. It has also made investments in Chinese battery giant CATL, and China’s ride-sharing provider, Didi Chuxing.
Foxconn Middle East plant
On December 2, 2021, a report from Automotive News said that Foxconn may build electric cars on BMW-developed platform(s) in Saudi Arabia in the future. The country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) plans to establish a joint venture company called Velocity with Foxconn Technology Group.
PIF will be a majority shareholder in Velocity. The role of Foxconn will be providing the software, the electronics, and the electrical architecture for new EVs. The two entities are considering developing electric vehicles on a BMW chassis obtained on a license and aim to sign a deal by the end of 2021, the report said. However, no deal has happened yet. BMW has previously offered platforms to other brands, in the case of the Zinoro 1E (from China), and the Vinfast SUVs (from Vietnam).
On January 14, 2022, The Wall Street Journal said in an exclusive report that Foxconn and the Saudi Arabian government are discussing a jointly built, multipurpose production facility. This mega-production site would entail a USD 9 billion investment and house plants for manufacturing microchips, displays, and other electronics, as well as EV components.
The Saudi Arabian government received an offer from Foxconn to build a dual-line foundry for surface-mount technology water fabrication in Neom, the country’s upcoming futuristic city. Foxconn has sent a proposal to the UAE also for the same project.
Foxconn is considering the UAE also as a potential site for this project, and it is in talks with the country about the same. The Saudi Arabian government is conducting due diligence and comparing the offer it has received with the proposals for similar projects Foxconn has made elsewhere.
The Saudis want Foxconn to direct no less than two-thirds of the foundry’s output into its existing supply chain. This requirement is to ensure that there are sufficient buyers for its products and see to it that the project is profitable at a certain point. The Taiwanese company wants large incentives, including subsidies for power and water, financing, and tax holidays. The government could offer it direct equity co-investment, industrial development loans, and low-interest debt from local banks and export credits.
Featured image source: Foxconn