The Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, who is known for working for Apple, has joined forces with Japanese electric motor manufacturer Nidec via its automotive offshoot Foxconn. The duo aims to develop electric drives for Foxconn’s MIH electric car platform, which will be unveiled in autumn.
The collaboration will be launched based on a memorandum of understanding, according to Foxconn. Foxconn and Nidec have already announced the first results of the cooperation for the fourth quarter of this year. The first electric cars, which will be built on the basis of the MIH platform, are also expected to be named towards the end of the year. Foxconn is not yet airing details of the cooperation. A statement from the contract manufacturer only said that the two were now working on a plan that includes passenger and commercial vehicles. Nidec is already a supplier for several OEMs, including Geely and GAC. Nidec also has a joint venture with the latter automaker in the field of electric drives.
Foxconn declared the MIH platform the linchpin of its electromobility offensive in October 2020. The platform is designed to include all key 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 company unveiled the platform half a year ago at their “Technology Day” in Taipei. Photos from the event showed a flat skateboard architecture at the time.
The Taiwanese want to break new ground with the platform hardware: MIH uses a “unique die-cast material” that is particularly resistant and at the same time very malleable, according to a press release accompanying the presentation. The lead company for the hardware is the aforementioned automotive subsidiary Foxtron, which was founded last year as a joint venture between the Taiwanese Yulon Group and Foxconn.
According to the compmany’s own statements, the MIH platform has “received positive responses from partners in various industries.” And Nidec will play a key role within the alliance in contributing motor technologies and controls in the future, it said. “This cooperation is a stimulating challenge. We are intensively discussing with Foxtron every day. We hope that we will contribute to Foxtron in the future,” Kazuya Hayefune, manager in charge of Nidec, is quoted as saying in the release.
“Nidec possesses the world-leading 3 in 1 traction motor system, which is the key for future electric vehicle developments,” added Andy Lee, general manager of Foxtron. Long before Foxtron announced its electric vehicle open platform project in the fourth quarter of last year, the company had been talking with Nidec about the possibility of working together, he said.
Meanwhile, Foxconn reaffirmed the announcement it made back in October that it plans to develop a solid-state battery that will be on the market by 2024. Company CEO Liu Young-way told media representatives that a sample solid-state cell would be developed this year. Just these days, it became public that Foxconn is also said to be negotiating with Vietnamese electric car startup VinFast for cooperation to develop batteries and other components for electric cars. VinFast is also known to be interested in solid-state batteries.
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