Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn has unveiled three prototype electric vehicles it developed itself. The Model C SUV, Model E sedan and Model T city bus all run under the Foxtron brand.
Known internationally as Foxconn, Hon Hai Technology Group unveiled the three vehicles at the company’s own Hon Hai Tech Day, where it aims to demonstrate its research and development and manufacturing capabilities. Two of the vehicles are based on the company’s own MIH electric platform, which Hon Hai unveiled at Tech Day 2020.
Foxtron, in turn, is a joint venture between Hon Hai and Chinese carmaker Yulon Motor, partly known as Yue Loong. Lilian Yen Chen, CEO of Yulon Motor Group, said at this year’s Tech Day that Foxtron successfully demonstrated Hon Hai’s capability and delivery speed, as well as Taiwan’s decades of experience, in less than a year since its establishment.
On the featured products themselves: The Model C is a 4.64-metre-long electric SUV, with a wheelbase of 2.86 metres. This puts the Model C in a highly competitive but also sought-after market segment – many manufacturers already have models in this size class on offer. Although the Model C is eleven centimetres shorter than a Tesla Model Y, it will also be offered as a 5+2 seater.
Despite a relatively high cW value of 0.27, a range of up to 700 kilometres should be possible. However, this value should be treated with caution: In the averaging, Hon Hai neither states the test cycle in which the 700 kilometres are supposed to have been determined, nor is the battery size mentioned. Hon Hai expects the MIH platform to offer customers an electric SUV “with high performance, high efficiency, high intelligence, low energy consumption and ample space at a reasonable price”.
While no further performance data is given for the Model C, the company is a little more generous with information about the Model E electric saloon. The “technologically innovative luxury flagship sedan” is said to have an output of “about 750 hp” (around 550 kW) and can accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. Foxtron gives the range as 750 kilometres, but again without specifying the cycle and battery size.
The Model E, designed together with Pininfarina, is intended to “meet the needs of middle and high-end consumers”, according to the company. The rear seats are said to convert into a mobile office, and features such as a door opening with facial recognition have also been announced. However, Hon Hai does not mention hard facts such as charging performance in return.
The Model T, a “stylish city bus”, was presented as the third model. The Model T is estimated to be in the 12-metre class and, according to the manufacturer, will meet Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations and standards with a “highly rigid body”. The bus is said to have a range of more than 400 kilometres and a top speed of 120 km/h. Passenger capacity is not mentioned, however. Passenger capacity, however, is not mentioned.
Concrete production intentions for the three port types are not yet mentioned in the announcement. A report by the AFP news agency says that the Model C will be launched in Taiwan in early 2023 at prices starting at the equivalent of 30,000 euros. The Model T could even go into test use as early as 2022 if the Ministry of Transport grants approval, AFP said.
However, as Chi-Sen Tso, vice-chairman of Foxtron, stressed at the Tech Day that Hon Hai has made significant achievements in developing electric vehicles in the past year – including some alliances – further announcements on production seem likely. In early October, for example, it was announced that Foxconn would buy the Lordstown Motors plant in the US. In September, an electric car joint venture was established with the Thai energy company PTT. However, the cooperation with Byton is apparently not doing well.
On the way to series production, however, Foxtron will probably have to make one important change: the model designations. As is well known, the Tesla Model 3 was originally supposed to be called Model E – but Ford holds the naming rights and objected. An agreement between Ford and Foxtron is not yet known. Ford is also unlikely to be very enthusiastic about the Model T – after all, the Ford Model T was a milestone in automotive history.
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