Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai, aka Foxconn, who supplies Apple components, wants to make a major entry into the electric vehicle business. According to CEO Liu Young-way, Foxconn is to be represented with components or services in every tenth electric car worldwide by 2027.
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The contract manufacturer plans to produce several components for electric vehicles itself. At the centre of Foxconn’s electromobility offensive is an electric car platform called MIH, including battery and vehicle internet services for third parties.
The platform is designed to contain all the major hardware and software components. These can be combined in such a modular way that a wide variety of models can be built on it. Foxconn cites electric limousines and electric SUVs as examples. The Taiwanese have now unveiled the platform at their ‘Technology Day’ in Taipei. Photos of the event show a flat skateboard architecture.
Foxconn wants to position MIH as the “Android system of the EV industry” and create a software-defined open ecosystem for the electric car manufacturing industry together with industry partners. The Taiwanese also want to break new ground in hardware. According to an accompanying press release, MIH is using a “unique die-casting material” that is particularly resistant and at the same time very easy to form. The aim of the MIH platform and key components for electric cars is to reduce the entry barriers for new companies in the electric car industry. Among the key components that Foxconn plans to manufacture in the future is a solid-state battery, which is to be launched on the market by 2024.
Liu Young-way swears his company that the open platform must be completed as soon as possible. “We need to move fast to grab market share.” He did not give details of sales targets, referring to ongoing discussions with car manufacturers. In January it was announced that Foxconn and Fiat Chrysler are planning a joint venture for the production of electric cars to develop Internet-enabled models for China. It is not known whether the joint venture is in the meantime in dry cloths.
Update 08 February 2021: Hon Hai aka Foxconn delivered an update on their open EV platform as they claim 635 companies have joined so far. There was no detail on actual companies that had signed in.
Participants in the MIH Open Platform could start supplying products by the end of April, Hon Hai chairman Young Liu said at an online year-end event for the company’s employees.
He also said the company had been pushing its “three plus three” plan to expand from manufacturing into hardware and software integration. The three areas are to find solutions for electric vehicles, robotics and digital healthcare.