Apple’s trusted iPhone supplier Hon Hai Technology Group, better known as Foxconn, has forayed into the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing space and aims to become a next-generation automotive manufacturer. In an event, live-streamed on the occasion of the company’s founder Terry Gou’s birthday, Foxconn unveiled three electric vehicle concepts, including an electric bus.
According to a press release, it was just last year that the group had teamed up with Taiwan’s largest automotive manufacturer, Yulon Motors. Since then, the joint venture, named Foxtron, has been working on its supply chain and distribution network and now unveiled an SUV and a sedan, both with ranges over 400 miles (700 km), including a bus that boasts a 248-mile range.
The SUV or Model C, as the company calls it, is designed to minimize the mechanical components and increase seating space. With a 5+2 people seating capacity, this 15-foot-long (4.64 m) car has a low draft co-efficient of 0.27 and can go from 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in 3.8 seconds.
The company claims that this optimized SUV will deliver high efficiency and performance with low energy consumption at a price comparable to a fossil-fuel car, thanks to its open-platform design. Inside EVs reported that using the open-source electric architecture, the kind that Tesla uses, Foxconn was able to reduce a seven-part front suspension to just one part, while also shrinking the 27-part longitudinal rail down to a single part.
Model E is a luxury sedan that is developed in partnership with the Italian design firm Pininfarina. Designed for middle to high-end customers, the electric car is packed with an output of 750 horsepower (559 kW) and can go from 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in 2.8 seconds. Much like the Model C, it has a range of 466 miles (750 km). The Model T electric bus is not only stylishly urban, but its rigid body also meets the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) standards, the company claims. With a battery that can survive testing temperatures up to 400°F (204°C), the bus has a top speed of 75 mph (120 kph).
Yulon Group’s CMC and Luxgen brands will be the first adopters of Foxconn platform. Over the next couple of years, the venture is expected to bring out more software features such as smart cockpit and smart driving. Calling EVs the largest and most expensive smart electronic devices, Foxconn is hoping to utilize its expertise in manufacturing, semiconductors, precision machinery, and operations to convert this opportunity into a trillion Taiwanese dollar (US$35 billion) opportunity for the company, the press release said.