Foxconn intends to become a global manufacturer of electric vehicles


What is it about electric cars that make people believe they can snap their fingers and become a car maker overnight? It’s like at the start of the 20th century, when all the blacksmiths, bicycle mechanics and railcar builders decided to go into the auto business. Some of them flourished, but most died out after a few years. Yet the allure of auto manufacturing has hardly faded since those heady days.

Foxconn, the Taiwanese company best known for making iPhones for Apple, hosted a sensational corporate event this week to announce that it has had the car-making bug and plans to introduce three electric vehicles – a sedan , an SUV and a bus – in the world shortly. A year ago, she unveiled her skateboard dedicated to electric cars.

Model C

The Model C is an electric SUV 4.6 meters long with 7 seats. It has a “drag coefficient of 0.27 (good but not great), accelerates from 0 to 100 km in 3.8 seconds and offers an extended range of 700 km (NEDC),” the company says on its website. . “Thanks to the advantages of open platform sharing, consumers can have a pure electric SUV with high performance, high efficiency, high intelligence, low power consumption and large space at a comparable reasonable price. to that of a gasoline car. “

Model E

Courtesy of Foxconn

The company also presented the Model E electric sedan, developed in collaboration with Italian design house Pininfarina. (This company has recently been busy designing cars for customers. It is also responsible for the design of new SUVs from VinFast.) The company claims that “the technologically innovative flagship luxury sedan… can meet the needs of the average consumer and upscale. At the same time, it is also the first choice of high quality for business. The backseat 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 facial recognition door opener, smart windows and vehicle and environment interfaces.

“In addition to luxury and comfort, the E model, with high performance and advanced dynamic control technology, delivers an output of around 750 horsepower and achieves an acceleration from 0 to 100 km in a record time of 2 , 8 seconds – better than comparable models on the market and almost at the pace of a Formula 1 racing car. Model E also has a range of 750 km to meet the range anxiety of most users of electric cars. (Note that Ford would not let Tesla have / use its “Model E” brand. We are not sure whether Foxconn intends to sell this car – or the next – in the United States.)

Model T

Courtesy of Foxconn

Unlike its namesake, Foxconn’s Model T is a full-size city bus that will be sold under the Foxtron brand. Foxtron vice president Tso Chi-sen told reporters this week that electric vehicles would be worth Foxconn trillion Taiwan dollars in five years, or around $ 35 billion.

“The design and protection of the highly rigid body conforms to Federal Transit Administration regulations and standards. In addition, the Model T has completed 200,000 km of acceleration endurance testing and over 1,000 hours of rigid stress testing at the Automotive Research & Testing Center, ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers, ”said the society.

“In terms of power consumption and endurance, the Model T’s battery can withstand temperatures of up to 400 degrees, over a range of over 400 kilometers. Under full load conditions, the maximum climb capacity can reach 25% and the maximum speed can reach 120 kilometers per hour, providing drivers with a relaxed and smooth driving experience, while allowing passengers a comfortable and safe journey. Watch the video below to learn more about the Foxconn range of vehicles.

Global ambitions

Aside from the issues Foxconn will have with Ford and Tesla over the choice of model names, the company has a significant hurdle between itself and its spur to become a global manufacturer of electric vehicles. She has no experience in building a supply chain or assembling vehicles. If Elon Musk has taught us anything, it’s that automobile manufacturing is tough business. Many have tried and many have failed. Foxconn has enormous resources but no factories built this century, no sales structure, no customer recognition, no service network, and no leasing / financing experience.

But he was not impressed by such challenges. Its chairman, Liu Young-way, told reporters this week that the company plans to manufacture cars in India, Europe, Latin America and possibly Mexico, according to a report from Autoblog. He added that Taiwan has a natural advantage when it comes to making electric vehicles due to its existing strength in software and semiconductors. “These are the advantages that Taiwan has cultivated for many years and is the best at.”

According to Reuters, the Model E sedan will be sold by an unspecified automaker outside of Taiwan in the coming years, while the Model C SUV will be sold under one of the brands of Yulon Motors of Taiwan. It is expected to go on sale in Taiwan in 2023. The Model T bus, which will wear a Foxtron badge, will begin operating in several cities in southern Taiwan next year in partnership with a local transportation service provider.

Foxconn is also expected to build Fisker’s new electric cars, if in fact one of them ever happens. Given Fisker’s recent history, that day may or may not come. At one point, Fisker said his future cars would be built on the Volkswagen MEB chassis. Then he said they would be built by Magna. Now it’s Foxconn. And after? The Keebler elves?

Skepticism in high places

There is reason to be skeptical of Foxconn’s grandiose claims. Just a few years ago, he struck a $ 10 billion deal with the state of Wisconsin to build a touchscreen factory in the land of cheeseheads. That deal was supposed to offer a bunch of new job opportunities for Wisconsinians, but all of those promises are only a vague memory today. According to ReutersFoxconn all but walked away from the deal, leaving Wisconsin officials embarrassed.

Foxconn has also set itself the goal of providing components or services for 10% of the world’s electric vehicles between 2025 and 2027. Will one of its latest empty promises ever come true? Some wonder if the company has any idea of ​​what it takes to make automobiles. Cool and fancy apps are only part of the process, not the bulk. Nothing says that the company’s noble goals cannot be achieved, but smart money covers its bets and takes a wait-and-see attitude.

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