Model E Promo

Three Made-to-Order EV Concepts Offer Up to 466 Miles of Range

Oct. 26, 2021
Foxconn plans to build electric vehicles for automotive customers rather than sell under its own brand.

What you'll learn:

  • Details of the new Models C, E, and T electric-vehicle prototypes.
  • Partners involved with manufacturing and distributing the EVs.
  • Hon Hai's move from contract electronics manufacturer to the EV arena.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, better known as Foxconn, debuted three electric-vehicle (EV) prototypes under the Foxtron brand at its Tech Day event at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. Established in 1974, Foxconn is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, and the EVs could strengthen the Taiwanese company’s credentials as a serious bidder for Apple’s secretive automotive project.

The Model C sports utility recreational vehicle, the Model E sedan, and the Model T electric bus were developed by Foxtron Vehicles Technologies Co., a joint venture between Hon Hai, the largest Apple iPhone producer, and Taiwan’s biggest carmaker Yulon Motor Company, which will be Foxconn’s first electric-car customer. Chances are that Ford’s management and legal department aren’t delighted to hear the model letter usage—recall the Ford Model T and Model A—but so far, the Dearborn automaker hasn’t publicly commented.

Models C and E

The Model C and Model E initially will be sold under the Yulon-affiliated Luxgen Motor Co. and China Motor Corp. brands, according to Hon Hai Technology Group chairman Young Liu.

The Model C SUV has significantly reduced the space used for mechanical components, while maximizing seating space. It is 4.64 meters long with a wheelbase of 2.86 meters, offers 5+2 seating for people and plenty of storage space. The SUV has a low 0.27 drag coefficient, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km in 3.8 seconds, and delivers an extended range of 700 km, all according to Foxtron.

Jointly developed with the Italian design firm Pininfarina SpA, the Model E sedan offers a power output of about 750 hp, 0- to 100-km acceleration in 2.8 seconds, and a 750-km range (435 miles) to address the range anxiety of most electric-car users.

The rear-seat space in the Model E can transform into a dedicated mobile office, with personal mobile devices connected to the vehicle, enabling smart applications such as facial recognition door opening and smart windows.

This year’s Tech Day event was organized on Hon Hai founder Terry Gou’s birthday. Gou has always believed that the adoption of electric vehicles would inevitably be a global trend by the simple fact that it has become the world's largest and most expensive smart electronic device. He is certain that with strong capabilities in electronic manufacturing, including semiconductors, modules, and precision machinery, Taiwan can play a key role in the development of electric vehicles.

Gou drove a Model E sedan onto the Tech Day stage. He said that the Model E electric car was the best birthday present for him, which is why he insisted on driving it himself.

Model T

The Model T, described as anurban bus,” is envisioned as an intelligent transportation solution. The company says it has completed 200,000 km of acceleration endurance testing and more than 1,000 hours of rigid strength tests at its Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC), ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers. Foxtron further said the high rigid body design and protection features of the Model T meet U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations and standards.

The Model T’s battery is said to enable a range of more than 400 km (248 miles) and can withstand temperatures of up to 400°F (204°C). The electric bus can reach a top speed of 120 km/hr (75 mph). Foxtron indicated it will begin delivering the bus to a local transportation provider next year. The Model T is expected to start service in Kaohsiung, in the southwest of Taiwan, once it passes the quality and safety test of the Taiwan Ministry of Transportation and Communications, paving the way for it to break into overseas markets.

Hon Hai CEO Liu said the company expects the EV business to contribute to revenue within the next two years. In that time, he said, “Hon Hai will bring to the industry more updates from its software and semiconductor businesses to allow the development of easy-to-use, highly efficient, and high-performance electric vehicles,” adding “Hon Hai is ready and no longer the new kid in town.”

Hon Hai’s Diversification

In recent years, Hon Hai has moved into EV and other emerging technology development to re-engineer itself from a pure contract electronics maker into a company that can integrate its hardware and software capabilities. Last year, Hon Hai unveiled a platform of open-source hardware and software for EV manufacturing and it’s working to develop a solid-state battery by 2024.

The three concept EVs displayed at its Tech Days event were built on Hon Hai’s EV open platform known as MIH. The MIH Alliance is an open standard founded by Hon Hai with the aim of allowing Taiwanese EV component makers to cooperate with each other with the ambition to become “the Android of EVs.”

The electric passenger car concepts will be built for automotive customers rather than under its own automotive brand. The Model E sedan reportedly will be sold by an automaker outside Taiwan, while the Model C utility will be sold in Taiwan under one of Yulon's brands beginning in 2023. It remains to be seen whether Foxconn will build any of these EVs at its newly acquired plant in Lordstown, Ohio, on which the company spent US$280 million.

CEO Liu said that Hon Hai is driving its EV business into “a software-defined enterprise.” To that end, Hon Hai Technology Group also announced at Tech Day 2021 its plan to establish a software research and development center with over 1,500 personnel, and the intent to recruit over 1,000 more software-development engineers in the next three years.

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